We are living in the era of technology and for the most part that has made much of what we do in life move at a faster and more efficient pace.
Believe it or not, waiting a couple of minutes for a document to come through on an email is a blessing. There was a time not so long ago when you would have to wait several days for the snail mail delivery. Those born in the 21st century are unlikely to understand the frustrations of such a challenge.
We've decided to look at a few other situations in life that have changed significantly for the better since the turn of the century.
- Attempting to make a phone call, but accidentally dialing an incorrect number. You then have to hang up and start all over again. These days if you dial the incorrect number you just have to 'x' to take you back - no need for a complete redial.
- While we are on the subject of phones - remember when you had the rotary style phone dials and you had to wait until it had returned to its original position before you could dial the next number. Who used to push it back in the hope of a quicker dial?
- Continuing with the telephone theme there was a time, before mobile phones, when public telephone boxes could be found on almost every corner. These were invaluable for making a phone call when not at home, as well as for the many people who didn't have a landline in their home. But they were not without challenges. You needed a supply of small coins to make a phone call. Limited funds were needed for a local call but that phone seemed to virtually eat the coins if you were making an STD (out-of-area call).
- Using a pen or pencil to tighten the tape on a cassette so it wouldn't be chewed up when you proceeded to play it. This was especially necessary when the tape hadn't been played for a while.
- Searching for a song on a vinyl record. Now this required a serious steady hand to place the needle carefully on the preferred spot on a spinning disc. A definite test for hand-eye co-ordination. Finding the required song on a cassette was also challenging. At least with a vinyl record you could see where a song began or ended. It was complete guess work when you were using a cassette. Now all you need to do is press a button to progress to the start of the music you are seeking. Better still ask Siri to do it for you.
- We are flashing back even further for this one. Making toast before the invention of a pop up toasters. There were no settings to ensure you didn't cook it too long. You just had to keep flipping open the doors to see if it had reached your preferred toasted level...And then you had to turn it over and do the other side. Many people established an appreciation for well-done toast under this system because it was not a consideration to throw the burnt toast out and start again. That was sheer waste.
- Mowing the lawn with a push reel mower. While some may still use these for maintaining very small lawns, they were once a common tool for mowing larger lawns. Having recently tried one - for fun, not torture - I am ever so grateful for the modern motorised mowers.
- Now this one is no doubt a frustration for anyone whose job required typing at a time before computers. Typing was a skill that commanded complete accuracy. One mistake and you would have to start again...even if that mistake occurred at the end of a document. There was no options to delete backwards. White-out became something of a saviour but of course you had to wait until it dried. Then came the white-out tape which was a little more user-friendly. But who are we kidding. that stuff was blatantly obvious so everyone could see the level of typing skill...or lack of skill a person had. And let's not get started on the need to regularly change the ribbon. Ink-stained fingers were not a fashion statement, but many people had them.
- There was once a time when television viewing was cut off for the night. Not because of a family curfew but because programming came to an end. According to a google search TV went static at midnight in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. You could hear the National Anthem played just before this happened and a familiar sight was the test pattern. Off course that was a definite sign to turn off the television, but in those days that was done by rising from your seat and walking over to the television to turn the nob to off. Remote controls back in those days was usually a child directed to turn off the TV. If you were still struggling to sleep after that point your best option was to count sheep.
- A favourite of mine in the 21st century is google search. Regardless of the question you can simply type it into your phone or computer task bar. Almost instantly you have the answer. For example I put the question "When did TV stop going off at night?" Instantly I had the answer...which I have shared above. This one certainly put an end to the career of door-to-door encyclopedia salespeople.
- Taking photographs was once a costly task. You took what you needed, and were unlikely to see whether the image was good or bad until you had completed the film, taken it into a photo outlet to have the film developed and printed. That could take months, even years, and when they came back they often had a pink tint. You would then bring them home and carefully place them in an album kept in the bookshelf for show and tell when visitors dropped in. Of course you can still get your photos printed, but these days you can flick through those pictures on screen, to make sure you have the correct pout or you have managed to hide the double chin, before you hit the print key. More often than not you simply upload them to the cloud for storage and inundate social media with your favourite shots. They can even be easily photo-shopped to remove that double chin.
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