I just found out my little sister recently got an iPod Touch. She’s 10. This isn’t terribly uncommon anymore, but I find it funny because I just got one a couple years ago. I couldn’t help but think about what my life was like when I was 10, even beyond. I was technologically lame.
I thought back on how I stretched the Ethernet cord across the entire family room to the phone jack to connect to the dial-up Internet my family had until I was 14 or 15. I’m pretty sure I could never have dreamed of such things as iPod touches. Granted, I lived in rural North Dakota — not necessarily a technology hub.
I remember junior high Kaitlin timidly asking my parents if I could use our dinosaur 1993 Compaq Presario to IM my friends. There was no use saying I was just playing Solitaire; that darn dial-up cord was unmistakable. We did finally get a new Dell desktop in 2004, when I was 14. My family still has it. (Although they did upgrade to a laptop too a couple years ago.)
I remember 14 year-old Kaitlin getting her first cell phone. I was so excited until I realized how lame it was. It didn’t even have a color screen, just those pixel numbers. I remember going to sleepovers with my overnight bag and my friends joking that it was my cell phone case. The emotional scars are still healing.
I remember getting my first mp3 player as a sophomore in high school. I carefully peeled off the reindeer wrapping paper that Christmas Eve (I always carefully unwrap — You might be able to repurpose it!) to find a small rod-shaped device. I had no idea what it was, but my parents said it sounded “right up my alley.” It was a 512 MB mp3 player, and it cost them $50. I was the coolest kid on the bus for a while, though. Very few of my peers knew what an mp3 player was either. Were there iPods circa 2006, or were we just so isolated up here that we were out of the loop?
Maybe that’s why I’m now glued to my phone and addicted to my laptop. But I always get a kick out of thinking back on the days when now-obsolete pieces of technology were the coolest thing since the last now-obsolete piece of technology.