When I were a young’un
Is it a blog? Is it a poem? Is it a memoir? I don’t know. I just felt compelled to write from the heart this week, so here it is, I’ll just tell you what I know (this shouldn’t take too long!)
I remember when blogs didn’t even exist. I remember when a lot of the stuff we have come to rely on every day just weren’t a thing.
Blogging, vlogging, mukbangs and Tweeting. The Snap Chatting, the Instagramming, the Face Timing and the You Tubing were all but ideas drawn up on the back of a beer mat.
One of my earliest childhood memories was sitting on the bus with my Mum and commenting ‘how good would it be if I could watch TV on the bus Mum, ON THE BUS?!’ I, of course, thought this would never happen in my lifetime, how futuristic!
But it has, it has happened. Along with so much more, but I can’t help but reminisce most days about life before the future happened.
OK, so selfies were a thing (we were doing it long before you kids!) but you had to wait a week for your duck face to develop.
Emails were handwritten letters to your pen pal and waiting weeks to get a reply back or walking your CV round town to convince someone to give you a weekend job.
Tablets were something the doctor prescribed. To Kindle was to set your ideas on fire, and the Amazon was a rainforest in Brazil.
Music streaming was taping the top 40 off the radio (top marks if you could miss out the adverts) or popping down town to get your favourite bands new cassette. You’d listen to it 20 times on your Walkman before you’d even made it home.
Social media was ringing your mate on the living room phone and covert meetings on the playground. Mobile phones were when you upgraded the living room phone to a wireless model, or popped down to the phone box on the corner.
Friday night movies were rented, not through Netflix or Prime but from a long-gone institution called Blockbuster video (or the offie down the road running video rentals as a sideline!) I miss that cheap laminated card and the passive-aggressive comments from the staff when you hadn’t rewound the tape.
On-demand TV was being at home to watch it live, or taping it on your dedicated ‘TV shows’ cassette.
You didn’t ask Alexa, Siri or Google, you asked your Mum (and very rarely got the answer you wanted) and your calendar was the family planner hung on the kitchen wall.
Google maps was that old dog-eared book of maps stuffed into the back pocket of the driver’s seat. Sometimes we even dared to strike up a conversation and ask for directions.
Texting and messenger apps didn’t exist as security blankets. The good times were great, and the bad times bad, but the point is, we felt them because they were face to face, not digital representations of how we feel. Time spent with the people you loved really was time spent with them without your 20 group chats or 500 followers. Breakups were from the heart and arguments were played out in real life.
I don’t deny that when I’m asking Google random questions or can stream any song that comes to mind (ok, so I know there are far greater advances happening right now, but I live a simple life!) that I’m still amazed at how far technology has developed even in my relatively short time on this planet. I love being able to instantly see pictures of my beautiful niece, to watch her grow minute by minute. I love being able to share every part of my day with my partner as it unfolds. I cherish these moments and I know that the future enriches my life every day, but even though to a lot of people reading probably won’t remember any of the olden days that I do, there will always be a small part of me that treasures being able to appreciate life before the future.
This blog was inspired by all of the very young people in my life who make me feel old. The struggle was real. I love you all.