One of the things I hear sometimes out of people is “How did they live with just that – or only that?”
It’s an interesting statement, and one that obviously was not thought out very well before uttering it. Why, do you ask? Well, think about it…………
was all they had. They did not know back then what we know now. People in, say, 1982, wouldn’t know what graphics on a PS4 look like – mainly because that game had not been invented yet. In 1982, the most advanced home system we had was Atari, and by today’s standards, the graphics were very basic. You had protagonists that looked like squares, with swords that appeared suspiciously like arrows, and the dragons? Those looked like ducks! You had games where you mowed down aliens, but they came at you in waves from up in the sky – not sneaking around in darkened corridors, lurking to blast you to videogame nothingness.
If you wanted to listen to music, you had a few options – one of the main ones was this thing called a “radio”.
No, I’m not talking about the app on your phone that connects to a streaming service – this was a dedicated device that turned into radio stations, and then broadcast what the station was sending out. It actually still exists today – if you bothered to turn off your CD player, MP3 device, or satellite service, you would notice that it still works……..as long as you’re in range anyway.
Bored with your TV channels? Well, back in our day, if you lived in a large city, you had maybe 11-13 channels. In the smaller areas? You usually had just a few – maybe 3 or 4 at most. You were happy with what they showed or you did without. Saturday mornings were special though – it was the time when you got up early, didn’t wake up mom or dad, and sat down in front of the family TV with a bowl of cereal while watching your run of cartoons for the next 5-6 hours.
Back in the 80’s, the internet………did not exist…..at least not in the way it does now. Back in the beginning, it was a text-only type of connection to connect colleges and military bases together, and it was pretty insanely expensive – nothing like it is now, where it’s pretty much all-you-can-eat. If you wanted to communicate with people, you called on the phone (sometimes long-distance at per-minute rates), travelled in person, or wrote letters. Oh, the agony of having to write a letter by hand, and then put it in the post and then wait for a long time to get a response back! Heck, back then, that was one of my favorite activities! My friends and I would send “care packages” back and forth, with letters and any other miscellaneous items that we thought the other person would like all stuffed inside.
It amazes me how helpless people are when the power goes out. Oh NO! We can’t charge our smart phones and our computers can’t get online to view our social media! Whatever shall we DO? Well………there are those things called “books” – non-volatile storage mediums that seem to be getting a tad rarer than they used to be. There are also candles for light – or on a full moon – lots of natural moonlight to see by. Oh yeah…….those fancy cash registers that tell you how much to give back in change – and even how to give it out? Yeah…….those don’t work either. Mental math? What’s that?? Do they even teach that anymore?
Remember when we would be in trouble for bringing a calculator to math class? Now, you get in trouble if you don’t bring one – and it has to be one of those $100 scientific calculators too! Showing your work is pretty much a thing of the past, because why bother showing work when you can just feed the information into the portable computing device, and it just spits out the answer for you.
We survived – just like our parents and their parents before them……….because what we had back then was all we knew. We didn’t know how the planet would turn out in the future. We don’t know what the future holds, but we can be sure these thoughts will be brought up with each new generation that comes along…….and they will wonder how you lived with only what you had.