Thursday, June 28, 2007

Things J.J. will get sick of hearing from me when he's older...

When I was a little girl, the two telephones in our house were connected to the wall with a cord. If one of the phones stopped working, a man came to the house and repaired it, because it belonged to the telephone company. And not only was there no such thing as caller ID, there was no call waiting. So if you were on the phone and someone else tried to call, the person calling got a busy signal and had to try again later. And answering machines were a business machine, not something people had in their homes. If someone called when we weren't home (or while we were eating dinner), the phone went unanswered. And we actually had to pay by the minute to call someone who lived more than a few miles away from us.

I didn't have a cell phone until I was a working adult and could pay for the service myself. At first, I was limited to the number of minutes I could talk each month without paying enormous overage fees, and there was no such thing as texting.

I can remember when there were only a handful of television stations. And we always found something worth watching. Late at night, the stations would sign off until the next morning. And once cable was available, there were still less than 20 stations to watch. MTV played music videos. Yes, the "M" stands for music.

If I wanted to watch a movie at home, the family would watch whatever was being shown on network television, with commercial breaks and edited content. Later, when I was in junior high, we had HBO. One HBO, not 8, and no other movie channels. Some people paid a lot more money every month to get one or two other movie channels. When I was in 8th grade, our family got a VCR and we were able to tape television shows and rent movies at the store. we had to rewind the tapes when they were over and return them to the store.

If we needed to check the weather, we had to either call a weather line or wait for the weather report on the local news. It was normal to see people to carrying a jacket and or an umbrella with them, as sometimes, you weren't sure what the forecast was.

My first computer had a cassette drive and really neat games like pong. Actually, pong may have been the only game. I had to share the computer with my brother and sister and it hooked up to the television set.

The Internet wasn't around when I was a kid. By the time I was in college, I had an email account through my school and was able to connect to a BBS in Mississippi. When I got my first job, I shared a computer with a couple of other people in my office and we used it for word processing and graphics programs. We didn't have email at work, and would print documents and fax or mail them and save files to disks and overnight them when necessary.

My first internet connection at home was through the telephone company. The monthly fee gave us a limited number of minutes of connectivity, and I had to use my home telephone line to dial up and manually sync up my email to see if I had new messages. Sometimes it took several minutes for a page to render or a file to download, and I sat there and waited. I would usually connect to the internet, download my email messages, go off line to read them and reply, then reconnect to send my replies. There was no such thing as spam, and I would only check my email a few times each week.

I'm sure I could go on, but I can already see those big green eyes rolling at me. :)


Christina said...

Oh how times change.

I don't think my 14 year old son will ever sit down, write a letter, put it in the mailbox and wait patiently for a couple weeks to get a reply.

That photo of J.J. is adorable.

Julie said...

Driving in the car with both kids in the back, Led Zeppelin came on the radio. I said, "I used to have this album!". Then came the reply of "Mommy, what's an album?"

The next week I took them to a friend's house. He had walls of albums and a turntable. They had no idea how to pull the album out, where the record was, or how to open the plastic case over the turntable.

It was a history lesson for them.

Lindasis said...

You forgot to mention we had just 2 tvs in the house. One in the family room and one in the master bedroom. In the evenings we sat in the family room, as a family, and watched the network tv shows together. Kids did not have their own tvs and never in their bedroom and there was no Disney Channel nor Nick for Kids. We had PBS, ABC, NBC and CBS...and I'm sure a couple other local stations.

Ah...the good old days.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I actually learned to type on a typewriter! And my freshman year of college I took Basic Reporting and once again...TYPED my stories on an typewriter (of course the next year someone left a huge chunk of money to the school and we got "computerized."

Linda said...

I spent most of junior high through college writing letters to my BFF who moved away in the 6th grade. We sent anywhere from 3 - 7 letters each every week. It's sad to say, but now with email, we actually correspond less. It's still at least once a week each way, but still.

And yes, I took typewriting in high school. And wrote most of my papers in college on my Brother "word processor", which was a glorified typewriter. I still feel guilty relying on spell check.

peach said...

I remember when I got my first TV for my own room. It was black and white with a manual dial. And then came cable and MTV was ALL I watched. Duran Duran was my obsession. My trusty typewriter got me through high school and even college with correction ribbon and the occassional white out. Amazingly, it is still in my garage and weighs a ton. I don't even want to think about how large my first cell phone was! :)