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I read an article recently where a UK teen carries a Walkman around for a week to compare it to his iPod and then share his observations, comparisons, distress. It was a nostalgia piece for me, remembering my first piece of technology and how cool I was going from 8-tracks to cassettes. The transition to the CD walkman was equally ‘cool’ but to look back and think that I exercised with that large piece of equipment attached to my body is pretty amazing. And what about my first cell phone: large, bulky, but all the rage. I was technology forward and yet today, I couldn’t imagine carrying anything that didn’t fit comfortably in my pocket or small purse.
It is amazing to think back to all of the advances just in our lifetime: original computers to air thin laptops; records to 8 tracks to cassettes to CDs to MP3; cell phones that were huge to full keyboard smart phones no larger than a Post-It note. My children are appalled to think that I didn’t have my first cell phone until I was 24 (when they are rallying for an iPhone at 8)…what they don’t realize is how early THAT was. I was the first among my friends to have a mobile cellular telephone – strategically mounted in my car no less. My mother didn’t have a home phone until she was married. So what will my children’s children look back on and laugh about? What will be the Walkman of 2009? The iTouch that ONLY goes to 32 mg and has a limited battery life? The cell phone with Blue Tooth instead of an imbedded chip in their head? On Demand entertainment instead of telepathic downloads? I joke, but I wonder how far off I will be. What is the convenience of your day that you will look back on and chuckle … like the clunky Walkman of 1980?