You May Be “Retro” If You’ve Used Any Of These 8 Gadgets
"Hey grandpa, what's a camera?" Well little Timmy, there are times when a smartphone camera just isn't good enough. "Tell me about the olden days papa!" Uh, where to begin. Most of us could choose from 3 or 4 over the air TV signals. Remember messing with "rabbit ear" antennas to get a better signal? Good times. The snap, crackle and pop of AM radio gave way to the silky smoothness of FM (thank you for immortalizing that transition, Steely Dan).
You may be retro, coming of age in the 70s or 80s, if you remember tinkering with any of the following. How many of these did you actually use growing up?
I still remember my beige, corded AT&T Trimline phone. In fact I remember waiting by the phone. Answering machines were a huge breakthrough back in the day! One great thing about a phone that plugs into the wall - it would work even when the power went out. Over the years marketers and spammers found our landline number so we eventually parted ways.
Paul Simon sang about Kodachrome, and I still have (mostly) fond memories of going to the camera store to get my film pictures developed. Now, with digital, we have instant gratification, but back in the 70s you had to wait and wonder if your photos would turn out. I no longer use film but the digital (SD) camera above has a 400x zoom, which you can't do on a smartphone, at least not yet.
Before the age of cell phones many of us walked around like uber-nerds with pagers on our belts, to receive important notifications. Sort of like old fashioned texts. Some people still use pagers and flip phones and I am not judging!
Listened to a Vinyl Record
I love my wife but during one of our many moves my record collection got "lost" and I have questions. Oh well - music still sounds better on vinyl than mp3.
Sent a Postcard
Before you could send a photo as a text anywhere in the world in real time we would purchase postcards and write a (cursive!) hand-written note, subtly bragging about where we were at the moment. Satisfying, and very retro.
Browsed the Yellow Pages
Well little Johnny, before Google Maps we would browse the Yellow Pages to find a particular store or company. And the annual arrival of the White Pages was always a minor celebration (when we found our name and home phone number listed correctly). Not sure I would try that today - what were we thinking?
Navigated Roads Using Paper Maps
Every year we would go to AAA and pick up a supply of state and national maps (paper) and use these to somehow get around. Today we plug an address into Google or Apple maps and the smartphone does all the work, but there was a day and age when we had to actually think about where we were going!
Owned an Encyclopedia
Proving that I'm an old fart, the photo above is from our library. My wife wanted to toss our encyclopedia a few years ago and I rescued them from the dumpster. Someday I want to show my grandchildren how we accessed information before Google.
So how did you do? Wait, you used all 8 of the retro "tools" above? No, you're not old - you're just...experienced. Good memories. Well, mostly-good.
Thanks for coming along for a lazy walk down Memory Lane.