I was watching the film “Gatsby” and was struck by what an exciting time it was set in and how the world changed for them. Got me thinking not much has changed in our generation, then thought it has and here are a few of my observations.
Duvets – This was revolutionary, gone were the countless layers of sheets, blankets and the nylon eiderdown. A whiff of a naked flame near it and would be up in smoke. I remember being so excited to be going to bed to try out my new duvet.
The microwave – I think I was about 8 years old when this gigantic electronic metal box arrived. It was amazing that a jacket potato could be ready in just 10 mins rather than a hour in the oven. I think we had jacket potatoes every night until we were sick of them. Though I do prefer them done in the oven.
Telephone – having a telephone at home was not common place when I was a child. I remember standing in the phone box with my mum, taking it in turns with my siblings, pushing the 10p’s into the slot. I did this when I first moved to the lakes as couldn’t afford a home phone. So I would walk to the nearest phone box, put as much as I could afford in until the pips sounded. It was amazing when we got a phone put in when I was a teenager.
Mobile Phones – I was a late comer to the mobile phone and didn’t get my first one until 2002 and it was a Nokia 3510. No predictive text, no camera, no internet, a phone to actually talk to people. I didn’t have the need for a mobile until a change in my job. Now the whole world is in my hand, panic when there is no data signal or Wifi. I remember it was so wondrous that you could send a picture though it did cost a fortune or used lots of your text allowance. I got my first smartphone in 2010, a HTC desire. It was a great phone even though at first I hated the clunky touch screen. In 2012 I switched to iPhone and wouldn’t have anything else now.
Social media – this can be a blessing and a curse, through it I have met so many lovely people. When I left school far too many years ago, there was no way to keep in touch apart from pen and paper. I moved away and despite keeping in touch with close friends for a few years, it drifts. With the invention of Facebook it has been nice to rekindle friendships, though I have had requests from some people I went to school with and thought “you were horrible to me at school, why on earth would I want to be your friend now?”. Contact is more accessible this days. The internet is a wonderful invention, just a few weeks ago my youngest stepson was in New Zealand and we were instantly messaging. It makes the world a smaller place especially with FaceTime or Skype.
Televsions – even in the last 5 years televisions have changed so much. We did have a television as a child. You have to tune a knob to retune the TV channel and at that time there was only 3 until Chanel 4 was launched in 1982. I remember getting our first remote control and fighting over who was going to change channel. Who has power of the remote is a bone of contention still. Rather than putting your back out trying to move them, you can pick them up with one hand.
Cameras – taking pictures as a child was limited to special occasions as was so expensive to process. I remember being fascinated by the family Kodak camera with the ice cube flash. The agonising wait whilst you patiently waited to collect your pictures and only to discover there was only a handful of good ones for the album. I remember my first digital camera and the astoundment at taking a picture and instantly seeing it, if no good, delete and retake. Now as soon as you take a picture, whether on a camera or phone, it’s met with a “let me see”. In my case, hate it, please take another. I love taking photos and they are prescious to me as all of my childhood pictures have been thrown away and only have a handful left. I recently bought a new digital camera which I carry with me everywhere, snapping away.