I thought it would be fun to compare how we did things just 30 years ago versus today when it comes to socializing and sharing updates with friends and families. In high school, to say I welcomed technology would be like saying one openly welcomes herpes. I wanted nothing to do with it and if it wasn’t broke, why fix it? These days, if there was a trial to embed my phone into my head or arm, I’d do it in a heartbeat. The minute I can microchip my credit card in my fingers, I’m there. Sure, the government will probably be able to control me with just a short electro pulse but all technology comes with complications.
1988- If you weren’t lucky enough to have a Polaroid camera, you were forced to beg your parents to take you to the pharmacy or grocery store to have them developed. You could pay extra to have them in 2 days but who’s got that kind of cash? A week would go by and you couldn’t wait to flip through all your pics. When the blessed day did arrive, you would sneer at your friends photography skills as you had a double chin and didn’t look as cute as you thought you were.
2018- I haven’t printed pictures in 10 years. I can’t remember my Snapfish account credentials to save my life. I’m not worried about printing out pictures because they will forever be on Facebook. Additionally, when a friend takes a less than flattering picture of me, I simply go on Pic Monkey and resist all temptations to upgrade to the paid package to airbrush everything. The free services at least ensure I don’t look like Jabba the Hut.
1988- After writing down everyone’s addresses you met over the summer on vacation, you begin the enormous task of writing each and every one of them. Thank God your mother just bought another pack of .14 stamps because the piece of bubble gum you are sending out with each letter may require 2 stamps.
Once you’ve sent the letters, which you’ve called the post office and they confirmed a 3 day transit time to Peoria, Illinois. you hypothesize that if your letter is sent on a Monday, your friend will get it on a Thursday. If they put a letter in the mail Friday, you may possibly have a response just 7 days later.
2018- In addition to email, we now have messenger and direct messages in all social medias. If you don’t have someone’s email address, you can surely find them on Facebook and shoot them a message. And with Outlook, you can even know when they opened it. Ohhhh….sneaky!
Notes in School
1988- On your desk you would have that day’s English lesson but below it was a half written note meant for your BFF. As your teacher would face the chalk board, you would quietly fold the paper once. The teacher turned around again, stop folding. The teacher turned to face the board, another fold in the paper. This cycle would continue until the note was deemed passable. Occasionally you’d have the ass hole that refused to pass the note. This meant you had to wait until between classes and by then, you could just verbally tell her.
2018- Everyone has phones so you simply put your ringer on mute, shoot off a text and call it a day. No more worries about the teacher confiscating the note and reading it. I use this tactic on occasion when out with people and I need to communicate something to my husband about the present parties.
Abbreviations in Communication
1988- We wrote out almost everything till our hands cramped. It sucked and especially daunting when your handwriting is on par with a blind sloth. The abbreviations I remember we used included BFF, LYLAS, LOL, WTF and J/K. That was pretty much it.
2018- Today we are like Egyptians, using emojis to communicate along with abbreviations. I find myself on a weekly basis having to Google an abbreviation that I have no idea what it means. Popular ones include LOL, BTW, BRB, SMH, LMFAO, FML AND WTAF.
Shopping at Home
1988- 4 times a year we would eagerly anticipate the arrival of either the Sears or JC Penny catalog. We would lovingly leaf through it all while feeling envious of the catalog models’ lives. How glamorous it must be to model for the Sears catalog.
Once we decided on what we wanted to buy, we would either call our order in (you’d get a live human right away) or go to the JC Penny Catalog ordering kiosk at the pharmacy to place an order. Why someone thought a chenille sweater and Benadryl went together was beyond me.
2018- We have every shop at our fingertips. We could be a recluse in Montana and dress like a lady on the Upper East Side of NYC. These days, Amazon temps us with getting us our order the same day. I can’t wait for drones to start delivering our stuff!
So there you have it! A small comparison of 30 years. Can you imagine what it will look like in 30 more?