In the old days…

We read.

This was brought about by this song.

And this one.

Where I currently work, the minimum wage company, there are two kids working. One twenty, the other just turning twenty one. Somewhat the same age as my own kids. But my kids had the benefit of growing up with a mother that actually likes the old ways. And a mother that did not have money to throw at said kids. Therefore, they had to make their own entertainment. That did not consist of playing tv games, or hanging around in mauls. They had to either read, or think up ways to occupy their time. Mostly they created all kinds of shit situations with all the crap that’s usually in a young boy’s mind, but they learnt. Often the hard way.

It would seem that the kids I currently work with did not have such an upbringing. Neither one of them have ever actually read an actual book. If it’s not in short snippets on the internet, they don’t read it. They don’t know who Sean Connery is. They think Brad Pitt can’t be sexy because he’s old. The young girl actually has the hots for Justin Bieber!! I mean really!! How do you save a nation with that kind of ignorance?

So, to pass the time on Thursday afternoon, we played a few quiz games. Me and the other old lady, 53, in the office, knew most of the answers. Which raised our esteem in the eyes of said kids, but it was just normal general knowledge. For us in any case.

We that grew up before computers. Before the world became totally dependent on technology for everything. When, if you wanted to listen to music, you did not just start up your iPod. You had to switch on the Hi-Fi. You set the speed on the turntable and you selected your album. You turned it around when the first half was done. If you wanted to hear the tunes on the radio again, you would hold your tape recorder close to the speaker and tape it like that. You did not go to iTunes and downloaded as many songs as you have space for.

You had a camera that worked with film. You took 36 exposures and you handed the film to the developing spot to give you your pictures. No retakes, no touch ups, or lighting changes. The picture you took was the picture you got.

You wrote. With an actual pen on actual paper. if you wanted something typed, you used an actual typewriter. With buttons that you had to really press down. That worked with a inked ribbon.

Document storage was done in big places. Because it meant you stored actual documents. Not scanned copies on a hard drive.

Where are we now? We’re in a place where everything is within reach. Pictures, videos, music, information. All available to you at the press of a button.

Yet, people seem to be more stupid than ever before. With all the information out there, flowing around in cyber space, people don’t know much.


They don’t have to. I myself use Google quite often. But in my case, it’s usually to confirm what I think I already know. Just to make sure that I’m not speaking through my neck. A confirmation. And I retain the info I get from there, because I was taught to do that. But, if a computer can be your brain, your memory centre, your storage space, why would you bother to keep your actual brain full of useless information?

Because, useless information means that you retain what you experience. useless information is an affirmation of your humanity. useless information is your proof that you have lived, that you’ve soaked up the things life offers you. Useless information keeps your brain from falling into the computer trap.

And the best way of gathering useless information is to read. Books. With paper under your fingers, and the smell of knowledge in your olfactory glands. I have many books on my various electronic apps. Main reason for that is that it’s small enough to carry with me everywhere. But when I’m at home, curled up on the couch, or parking off in bed, I like having the heaviness of a book in my hands. To turn the page and see the story unfold. To stand in front of my bookshelf and think about which of my old friends I’m going to spend time with tonight.

It’s no secret. I miss the old days. Things were slower then. More thorough. Way less hurried. More thoughtful. More detailed.

And, much as I like technology, and gadgets, it’s made life quite a bit more lonely.

As this video shows.

Hope your Sunday is a good one so far – and that tomorrow brings us more good than bad…


18 comments on “In the old days…

  1. Aha…. this post just reminded of myself. I can relate to you in so many ways. If you ask them how to use those old useless machines I bet you the kids wouldn’t not know how to operate them.

    I really think you should pursue your writing skills, Ms. g. I always enjoy reading your post.

    • Lots of them won’t have a clue P!!!
      thanks for the compliment – I’ve been stewing on an idea, but probably still lack some determination.

  2. A thoughtful post, J ~ thank you. I found myself thinking along similar lines today. It is welcomed to not be the only one thinking of what we let go.

    • You’re right there Tess.
      I do miss the old days, but then, might just be the closer creeping half century mark that’s starting to haunt me!

  3. I may not be that old but I still remember doing almost all of those things that you’ve mentioned. If you haven’t done it, then you really are missing out. And I’m a big fan of actual books, can’t stand those e-books that most other people as in love with.

    PS Sean Connery, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt all have that older man thing about them πŸ™‚

    • That older man thing. Yes well, they’re my peers for the most part, except Mr Connery. I can’t seem to look at the young things and think them anything but wet behind the ears boys πŸ˜‰
      I enjoy my e books, but there are some books that has to be read in hard copy, and those I will spend money on…

  4. Brad Pitt isn’t sexy??? My word Ghia, you are surrounded by morons πŸ™‚ BTW toe my seuns klein was en verveeld, het ek vir hulle gese (a) dis normaal om verveeld te wees gedurende jou jeug – that’s what it’s there for en (b) gaan skryf jou maal-tafels ‘n paar keer uit – jy weet 2x 3x 4x etc. Worked like a charm, each time πŸ™‚

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