A Changing World…

25 Things Babies Born in 2014 May Never Know

By Stacy Johnson

Here’s a list of things kids born in 2014 might never experience, or at least will see a whole lot less of as they reach their formative years.

Things kids born in 2014 may never know:

1. The post office. Instead of email, someone used to come all the way to your house just to drop a bunch of ads into a box on the front porch. This service was a big money loser.

2. Parking meters. There was a time when you had to pay for parking by putting coins into a little steel box on a pole.

3. Bank tellers. People used to visit a bank branch to make deposits and withdrawals. What a lot of effort expended on something that can be done digitally in mere seconds with no travel involved.

4. Paper statements. Trees used to give their lives so that those who refused to go digital could get bills and other statements in the mail. (See No. 1.)

5. Paper checks. While it was illegal to make your own paper money, it was OK to write an amount of money on a piece of ordinary paper. Once you signed it, it somehow magically became the same as money.

6. Cable TV. Before universal Wi-Fi, there used to be a wire running all the way from downtown to bring entertainment into the house. Judging by the price, you’d have thought it contained a cure for cancer.

7. Toll booths. Before they started charging tolls by taking a picture of your license plate, you had to stop at a booth and either throw money in a basket or hand it to someone. They were kind of like phone booths on the turnpike.

8. Phone booths. Before everyone had wireless phones, there used to be little glass rooms on street corners where you’d go in and use coins to make a call. For some people, they also doubled as bathrooms.

9. Newspapers. In days before everyone had computers at home and in their pockets, printing presses made paper versions of websites. People would then drive around and throw them on your lawn.

10. Car keys. Cars had keys you’d insert into a keyhole in the doors and dashboard to unlock and start the car. Sometimes you’d lock them in, then try to retrieve them with a coat hanger. Other people would stop and try to help.

11. Bookstores. A retail store where you’d go to buy books.

12. Books. There used to be a physical version of e-books made out of paper.

13. DVDs. Before movies were delivered online, they came on discs you’d stick into your computer or a player attached to your TV.

14. Incandescent lighting. This kind of light bulb didn’t last as long or cost as much as LED lighting, but it had a nice glow to it.

15. Fax machines. These devices transmitted a piece of paper to another fax machine anywhere in the world. It worked over phone lines.

16. Phone lines. Before wireless, calls were carried on wires. Like power wires, they were strung everywhere and stopped working during snow and ice storms.

17. Non-digital picture frames. There was a time when a picture frame could only display one picture at a time, so you needed a frame for every picture. Some were better looking than the picture they contained.

18. Cursive handwriting. You’d pick up a pen or pencil and actually write things by hand. Not only that, but the letters of each word were all connected in such a way that it was often impossible to decipher.

19. Camcorders. Before HD video cameras became standard in phones, you had to buy a separate device if you wanted video selfies.

20. Blind dates. In the days before dating websites, people were forced to meet one another any way they could, including being introduced to friends of friends. It was awkward, because there was no way to IM, text, exchange pics or otherwise communicate before actually meeting. The people you met this way usually weren’t as good looking as you.

21. Talking to one person at a time. Before pocket computers, you weren’t required to stay in constant communication via text. Nor was it customary to let everyone you’d ever met know where you were and what you were doing via Facebook. As a result, you’d often find yourself forced to communicate solely with the people in front of you.

22. Driving a car. Before self-driving cars, you had to do it all: gas, brakes, mirrors, turn signals, talk on the phone, text, put on makeup and eat, all at the same time.

23. Setting a thermostat. Before “The Internet of Things,” you had to manually set the temperature in your house.

24. Forgetting someone’s name. Before Google Glass came along, we had to recognize faces all by ourselves, and remember their personal information.

25. Buying music. With Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, iTunes Radio, etc., we have unlimited music libraries that we pay for by the month. Before that, we bought our music one song or album at a time and built collections.

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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