Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What Won't Our Kids Ever Know?

A friend of mine just posted an interesting anecdote about the difference in the world we grew up in and the one our kids are growing up in.  In his case, his son didn't know what a stereo was.  He'd never seen one.  Music in his world comes from an iPod/Zune or from a computer.  That got me thinking.  Technology is changing the world quite drastically.  What other things that were common in my childhood will my kids never know about?

They won't know telephones that have wires.  All of ours are cordless (or cellular).

They won't know a world where you only have a handful of TV channels.  We visited my grandparents' and they were perplexed by the fact that there were only 3.5 channels.

They don't understand live TV.  Everything in their world is timeshifted by Media Center.  TV schedules are an unknown to them.

They won't ever have to think about long distance phone calls.  Calling Florida is no more expensive than calling next door.

They'll never know a world where the internet is not at their fingertips at all times.  Modems?  What are those?  Encyclopedias?  What are those?

No Saturday morning cartoons.  This doesn't really fit the list, but it's true.


I'm sure there's a lot more that could be added to this list.  What other things will kids of this generation never experience?


  1. in a way, lots of things that are advanced in a past decade or two will not be around or become unheard of to the next generation kids.
    (viz., 5" floppy disks, 8086 AT machine, b/w mono monitor and a pc having 20MB hard drive, Gold costing ~$50 an ounce, click camera that needs film having only 12 black/white pictures,etc)
    although ones mentioned above are from gadgets perspective, there is additional concern about the traditional values & principles, ample family time that the next generation kids might experience either lacking or inadequate, I think.

  2. Gas that is cheaper than milk.

  3. With the risk of forgotting the reality of things...

  4. A cute story about what our kids won't ever know.
    My father-in-law, a dentist, always kept an old telephone with a "regular" dial, on his secretary's desk. One day, a teenage patient asked if she could use the phone, since she had left her mobile at home. When the reply was "yes", she picked up the handset of the phone, looked confused, and, putting her finger in each hole of the dial, tried to push each number! She had no idea that you actually had to rotate the dial !!

  5. Getting lost! With GPS/GIS everywhere, it is so difficult to get lost in an unknown place!
    Not understanding a language! Today we can just copy-paste most languages to a translator and start making sense!
    Genetic disorders! Our generation grew up with small pox. They might grow up and find no diabetes!
    In India, I grew up by treating the words "sharing" and "giving up for others" as synonyms. This generation asks why more resources can't be generated. Perhaps this had already happened in the West before a generation and you may not understand what I am talking about.