If you’ve ever watched a 2-year-old expertly navigate an iPad screen, you understand that our children are growing up in a way totally different from the childhood we knew. There are so many things that kids today will never grasp about the way we grew up and this hilarious video a mom took of her son trying to figure out how a Walkman works proves it.
Here is the video a mom took of her son and a friend attempting to work out the apparent Rubiks Cube of technology, the Walkman. It might seem silly to us that they struggle so hard. Since we all likely had one, we know how they’re used and it’s not rocket science, but imagine you’d never seen it before and only knew music in the digital form it’s in now? Check this out and prepare to giggle. And possibly, feel like a fossil.
The kids are positively dumbfounded, much in the way we would be if presented with an iPod for the first time without anyone showing us how it works. Watching him try to ram the cassette tape in the wrong way is sort of hilarious, but it makes sense considering the digital world he’s always known. Just the other day, my eight-year-old daughter was thumbing through my old CD collection, marveling at their very existence. We typically hook up our phones in the car to play Apple music or Pandora and use Bluetooth speakers at home to play music that way as well, so she’s probably never seen us use a CD player. Isn’t it amazing that something so ubiquitous only 10 or 15 years ago is now veering toward obsolete?
CD’s and Walkmans are far from the only items that now seem utterly archaic when compared to what we use now. There are plenty of things we had as kids that our children will never understand. Remember floppy disks? I find it funny that the universal symbol for “save” is an icon of something our kids have never used. And never will use. Phones with cords, dial-up internet, renting movies physically from Blockbuster, using a VCR, having to sit through commercials — the list is practically endless. Unless we somehow end up in a new stone age through some kind of planet-wide natural disaster, our kids will only know a life laden with technology and conveniences we would’ve found unfathomable if someone told us as children that they’d one day exist.
There are so many benefits to our kids growing up in this time and that’s what I choose to focus on, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I feel a little badly for them. Everything is so easily obtained now and I know it’s affecting how patient they are and how easily they’re able to just “be” without constant entertainment. Nothing is novel. Everything they want is available at the swipe of a screen or push of a button. It is undoubtedly making this generation of kids wholly different than the ones before them. Maybe for that reason, there’s value in reminding them often that the life they lead is a charmed one and that their parents, born only a few decades earlier, had it much differently.