Although Little One isn’t old enough to start making me feel my age yet, being a teacher means that I’ve had many conversations with children that have made me think ‘Am I really that old?’. Often, we get stuck in time and assume things are the same way they always have been until one little young’un pipes up and reminds you that times are changing!
Here are 6 things that might strike a nerve with you:
Back in the day, it wasn’t unusual to find a blackboard in the classroom. You loathed it if you managed to somehow rub against it resulting in a lovely zebra stripe, or loved it if you managed to get your hands on the blackboard rubber (bless the poor soul who fell victim to the rubber attack). We shudder when we think of the chalk screeching against the board, yet it was the best thing ever if you got picked to come and write on it.
These days the children have classes equipped with state of the art Interactive Whiteboards. The board does tricks, plays music, the full works. So when Child A asks how you “Put pictures on it” or Child B proudly announces that they had seen one at a museum, you can’t help but wonder ‘Am I old?’.
Humming away to myself in the classroom, a child looks at me and asks, “What are you singing?” How could they not know that I’m singing ‘Wonderwall’? I explain that it’s Oasis to which the penny drops.
“Oooooh! That’s my Grandad’s favourite band.” Excuse me? Grandad?! Then I realise that his Grandad is only 45!
I begin to list other popular artists from my childhood. Backstreet Boys? Nope. Spice Girls? Vaguely. Avril Lavigne? Err. Boyzone? Oh, never mind. It’s plain to see that music moved on without me.
3) Using the Landline to Meet a Friend
These days technology is rife. Our children prefer to play computer games rather than be with nature (although not through lack of trying for Parents!) and our babies are experts in the art of the iPad. Heck, if you’ve reached the age of 4 and don’t own a mobile phone then who are you?!
If you can remember the time before this then you, my friend, are old. Gone are the days when you would ring your friend’s landline from your house phone to arrange a time to meet. Precision was key here.
“Under the big clock at Woolworths at 11:30am. I’ll be wearing my white and blue Kappa tracksuit.” (as was the style back then!)
The clock strikes 11:35am and panic sets in. What if they don’t turn up? 30 minutes was the general rule for waiting. After that, with no way of contacting them, you make your way to a public pay phone to check they’ve set off.
Who needs a mobile phone when you’ve got this clever little set up?!
4) Pogs in Walkers Crisps
Back in the day, playgrounds were hunting grounds for trading. Marble collectors in one corner, football stickers in another, and then came the Pog (or Tazo).
For those who don’t know what a Pog is, they were small circular disks found inside Walker’s crisp packets which came in an assortment of themes – Loony Tunes, Star Wars, etc. Once you had collected enough, you would play other people by each piling up an equal amount of Pogs, face-down. You would then use a ‘Slammer’ (a much thicker plastic disk) to throw down onto the pile to try and flip over the disks. If you succeeded in flipping the disks to face upwards, they were yours for the keeping.
There have been many school riots on the back of foul play in the Pog battles!
5) Remembering a Time Before Facebook
Although you may find it hard to believe, there was a time before Facebook.
Remember when we would run home from school, dial up our internet and connect to MSN chat? We’d only just left our friends yet we were desperate to speak to them because so much had just happened in those 15 minutes it took to get home.
Then Broadband came along and our MSN addiction grew. MSN then introduced photo and file sharing…mind blown!
Over time, MSN waned and MySpace took its place. Now we could upload hundreds of photos of ourselves pretending to be models and perfecting the signature “MySpace” pose. Nights would consist of hours spent stalking random profiles, tweaking our Bio and adding friends – because you’ve only made it if you have 1000+ friends.
I do remember the day Facebook came along. My first thought was why would anybody want to write a status of what they’re up to? What a silly concept! But how wrong I was. Facebook is now the norm. Declaring that you don’t have Facebook is like telling people you’re from Mars. And, “Oh I saw it on Facebook” is a common reply when you share an exciting story you’ve been bursting to tell somebody.
The days of MSN and Myspace are long gone!
6) Recording on VHS and Cassette
A discussion was had in our house a few months back about upgrading our TV package. At that time we could “only” record one programme whilst watching another. We thought that we needed to be able to record much more and that recording 4 at a time would be ample (because we clearly have nothing better to do with our lives than watch TV…).
Kids have definitely got it good these days. There was a time when recording television was not so simple. We would put our VHS tapes in and set the timer to record our favourite shows. Every now and then you would accidentally tape over something of importance – that recording of you as a baby, your Mum’s episode of Eastenders that was going to reveal who the killer was (no online spoilers in those days!) or your sibling’s favourite movie resulting in tears and a breakout of World War III.
And, what about music? When pocket money could only stretch to buying one or two cassette tapes at 99p each, the cassette player was genius. On Sunday afternoon, we’d settle ourselves down waiting for the charts to start on the radio. In goes the blank cassette tape and our finger hovers over the record button. If we had time on our hands then we would sit through the full show stopping and starting the recording to avoid the advertisements.
So here I sit wondering did I just get old? If you’re a spring chicken who doesn’t remember one or more of these then I promise you, your time will come!
Did any of these strike a nerve with you? Is there something your children have said to you that made you feel old? Comment and share it!
– Tee ????