Sunday, January 11, 2009

Old School

I was flipping through my Senior yearbook today, because someone from my highschool that is LDS and two years younger than me, added me as a friend. She doesn't have her maiden name, but she looked slightly familiar and I figure if she was LDS and went to my high school I would have had to have known her at some point.

I turned to my yearbook to find a picture of her, and was someone astonished when I saw the name Carla Silva assigned to a boy and Jose Rodriguez assigned to a white kid. After my amusement subsided, I thought about how cool it would be to work on a yearbook in the electronic era. There is probably some kind of software online where all they have to do is point and click. I am sure it has spell-check, which would have seriously helped the yearbook staff at my school.

But as I sat there thinking in wonder at how much has changed over the past (ahem) 19 years, I also was a bit nostalgic for how things used to be done. True, it took a lot more time to do major projects like this, however, time-saving is sort of mythical in this day and age. I would like to go back in time and ask a 36 year old mom (when I was 18) if she was really busy. My guess is that she would have said yes, and then we would discuss what busy meant to her.

She wouldn't have needed any time on the computer, because personal computers were pretty rare in 1990. No one I knew had one unless it was a Commodore 64. There was no email, no texting, no instant messenger. We wrote notes to our friends. In fact, Dawn Onusko and I just had a notebook that we passed back and forth to each other. Because there weren't computers, people didn't waste time playing computer games. There wasn't playstation, wii (though that would have been cool), x-box, hand-held game cubes, etc. A lucky few had Atari at some point in their life.

So what did we do? Well, I spent a lot of time on the phone with friends. I wrote my sister a lot of letters that were sent off to Utah. I read more books. I watched a lot of movies. Back then we didn't have dvd, of course, so you had to spend some time rewinding the movie. In fact, growing up we didn't have cable except over the summer at my dad's house where we watched Martha Quinn on Mtv. That was back when they showed videos. We didn't have cd's, we just had tapes. I spent a lot of time taping songs off the radio. An awesome invention was the two tape deck ghetto blaster. Did you know that was what those big portable tape players were called? Like the one used in "Say Anything". They might still be called that, but I haven't heard that term since about 1992.

For all of our time-saving devices, people are too busy now. Sometimes I miss the 80's.


Lisa said...

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. We had a Pong video game in 1979 and wasted ga-jillions of hours on it. The Atari 2600 system sold millions of consoles right about 1980. We had a Commodore 64 in 1986. (I wrote a program that made a ball bounce across the screen. Fascinating.) And, yes, we passed a lot of notes back and forth. I taped a lot of music off the radio, and the WORST was when you would wait for hours for the right song to come on, you taped ALMOST all of it, and then the stupid DJ could talk over the last 15 seconds of the music. Argh! I made tapes and gave them to friends with my own little fake copyright logo on them. I called my operation "Private Pirate Productions."

Renae said...

I totally had the big old notebook to pass back and forth between my best friend and I in junior high. And, for the record, I still use the word "ghetto blaster". It's just a cool word that didn't make sense to me even back then. I don't think it's probably a very PC word! Talk about stereo-typing (no, that's not a pun! OK, I guess it is!)