Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Only Constant Is Change

Grams has had a couple of experiences lately that make me realize how different the world of today's teens is from the world I grew up in.

A few weeks ago I was subbing at the high school. We had finished the lesson and I was chatting about music with a student. I made a reference to The Beatles and he asked "That was a band, right?" WHAT! I explained to him that that was not A band, it was THE band. Good lord, I'm getting old!
My book club, The Book Snobs, is reading Pat Conroy's The Water is Wide this month. As I was reading today I picked up on a reference to the lack of telephones on Yamacraw Island where he taught for two years. I instantly wondered if no one had a cell phone on the island. Then I realized that the book is set in the 1960s. Duh!

In light of both of these facts, I started thinking about the world Our Little Princesses will know. Here's what I've come up with.
They will never have to drag the telephone extension into the closet to have a private conversation. Phones won't have coiled cords that you can twist around your fingers while you chat. In the rare event that they actually pick up a land line, they will probably think something is wrong with it. Their phones don't have dial tones. They will also never know the satisfaction that comes from slamming down a telephone handset in anger. Pushing a button just is not as fulfilling somehow.
Written communication is primarily written via email or text message. It's entirely possible they'll never mail anything using "snail" mail.
It won't be far-fetched to think of a person of color holding the office of President of the United States.
Women will always have been members of the Supreme Court.

Books will always come in electronic format.
It's entirely possible they will not learn to write cursive at school.
The Space Shuttle program won't be advanced technology. It will be obsolete.
They'll know who Princess Kate is, but not Princess Di!
They'll check the time by looking at their cell phone, not their wrist watch.

Video phones are not futuristic. All you need is a computer with a webcam and you can see and talk to anyone anywhere.
Cameras don't need film and pictures don't have to be developed.

Every year I look forward to Beloit College's Mindset List. It's a list they publish every fall to bring their professors up-to-date on what the incoming freshman class has experienced and what their mindset might be. I've linked to the list for the Class of 2014.

So what do you think. What else will be different about the world our grandchildren will grow up in?


  1. A great antiquated phrase we still use is to "dial a phone number". I think it's finally getting replaced with "I'll text you".
    One less worry is dropping the phone and breaking a toe. They used to weigh a ton. An entire industry of telephone operators has vanished.
    So has the hat industry.
    Always fun to look back and see how old we really are.

  2. it is just simply amazing how quickly things have changed in just 10 years isn't it?

    I can remember just starting college back in 1997 when email was just taking off.

    We have a five year old who was scared when he heard the ringing of a land line phone at my parents house when he was around 3. We've always had mobile phones thar play music! :)

    Thanks for your visit on my SITS day!


  3. "the only thing constant in the world is change" is my favorite quote. :) Loved looking at the Mindset List, thank you for sharing that!

  4. So true!!! I used to be in the closet with the phone cord... The one thing I worry about is that some new couples with babies don't have land lines. When they have a babysitter they have forgotten that they may not have a cell phone and have left the babysitter without a way to call for help if needed.

  5. They probably also won't remember what a CD or a DVD is.

    But really - not knowing the Beatles? That's just plain WRONG!

  6. Great post Vicki! My oldest daughter is 19 and she knows who the Beatles are as does my 8 year old. I think it all depends on what their parents share with them. But you're right, I do wonder with some excitement as to what's to come and go. Have a great day and thanks for visiting-

  7. Vicki,
    I tried to leave a comment last night but my computer froze. This is a great post! I was thinking about the Sony Walkman and how excited we were to be able to listen to a CD or the radio or tape while we're out walking! That's something they'll never see!
    It has changed considerably since my first born were dating and my youngest. I always knew who was calling the twins (35) because the calls came to our home phone. Now, Jacob (19) has his own cell phone and I have NO IDEA who he's talking to!
    Thought I'd also let you know my connection to Texas. My Dad was born in Panhandle, Texas. He lived there until 3 years old then his family moved to Idaho Falls because of the depression. My MIL was born and raised in Kelsey, Texas. She still has her cute Texan drawl.
    I hope your husband gets feeling better soon. Have you discovered anything new about the tumor in his neck?
    Take care.

  8. This is wonderful even 2 years later -- maybe even better! Amara is just amazed to hear us talk of extension phones and the ability to listen into one another's conversations not to mention party lines. No remotes? Things have changed, most of it good!

  9. I still have a hard time adjusting. I still look at my watch on my wrist for the time. And I remember party lines with our phone. And the rotary dial phones - don't think my kids would even know how to dial a number on them. Ahhhh, the changes of time. Minnesota Farm Living