Penny…I mean, nickel for your thoughts

A few days ago I was leaving work and walking to my car when I noticed that something shiny caught my eye. I looked down at the ground and saw a coin sitting there. I picked it up and thought ‘lucky penny’. But it was not a penny, it was a nickel. In Canada, the penny is out of circulation and has been for a few years. Which led me to my next thought, “my daughter won’t know what a penny is.”

The expressions “a penny for your thoughts” or “what’s your two cents” or “a penny saved is a penny earned,” will mean nothing to her! The concept of something costing $4.61 when paying with cash will mean she will automatically round down. This is something that I am still trying to comprehend.

I started to realize that there are a lot of things that I grew up with that she simply will not know. I have composed a list of items that my daughter will probably never experience, and believe me; writing these has made me feel incredibly old! Nevertheless, here they are:

VCRs and VHS tapes: VCRs are extinct. You can’t buy one and you can’t buy videos on VHS anymore. My daughter will never know the pain of renting a video from Blockbuster only to bring it home and find out that the asshole who rented it before her didn’t rewind it! Netflix has us completely spoiled; it can even suggest things we might want to watch and the best part about it is that everything is always at the beginning!

Mixed tapes: Remember when you heard a song on the radio? And then you sat down with a blank tape in your stereo and waited for said song to come on the radio so you could record it? Those days are long gone. All you need to do now is download your favorite song on iTunes and then put it on your iPod or iPhone or i-whatever. There was something fun and exciting about waiting around for your song and hearing it on the radio. Technology has made it so easy for us these days; it almost takes the fun out of hearing your favorite song on the radio because now you can hear it as often as you want! (and without having to rewind a tape!)

Tamagotchi pets: These things were all the rage when I was in elementary school. These little digital key chain pets that you kept alive by periodically remembering to push little buttons that would feed it and give it water. They were so cool and it was like a competition to see whose pet would live with longest. Nothing ruined your day more than if your tamagotchi died. But, you could always ease the pain with a quick trip to McDonalds for their delicious pizza. This brings me to my next point.

McDonalds Pizza: My daughter will never know the deliciousness of McDonald’s pizza. It was so crispy and cheesy and just plain awesome. It was taken off the menu in the late 90s and fans everywhere were devastated. Rumor has it that it is still available in 2 US locations; Pomeroy, Ohio and Spencer, West Virginia. The West Virginia location is only 2428 kilometers away, which is almost 30kms closer to me than the Ohio location, so clearly when my daughter is old enough to sit in the car for a few days we will be making a road trip to West Virginia. She simply MUST taste McDonalds pizza!

Dialup Internet: Oh, that was painful and no one needs to actually experience it. I can remember waiting 45 minutes to download one song. 10 minutes to download an email with a picture attachment and not to mention the inconvenience of not being able to use your phone while you were online. I do think that all kids today should have to use dialup at least once so they can appreciate how awesome wireless internet is!

Disposable cameras: I used to buy one of these bad boys every time something special was going on. Taking a picture was such a surprise because you never knew what you were going to get. Digital cameras have taken all of the mystery out of photography. In fact, a lot of people don’t own any type of camera these days because their cell phones usually have pretty good cameras on them. The downside to this though, is that anyone can become a point and click photographer. It almost takes away from what an amazing skillset photography actually is.

Cell phones: They are our world. My phone has apps for my banking, email, twitter, facebook and games. It also serves its purpose by being my main form of communication. Kids these days have NO clue what the world was like before cell phones became the norm. People made plans and they kept them. People arranged to meet at a certain time. When you went to dinner with a friend, you talked to each other. When you had to wait at the doctor’s office, you read a magazine or chatted to another waiting patient. Cell phones have created a dependency in our society which is almost making us lose some of our social and interpersonal skills. I definitely do enjoy having a phone, but there are times when I wish that all they could do is make and receive phone calls.

I’m sure that by the time my daughter is nine or ten years old there will be all kinds of new technologies to replace existing things. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. What are some things from your childhood that you can remember? What are some things that today’s kids will never know? Comment below and tell me! I can’t wait to hear what everyone else comes up with!!


2 thoughts on “Penny…I mean, nickel for your thoughts

  1. When I came across tamagotchis on your list I cried a little. lol I actually downloaded a tamagotchi app once because I actually seriously miss those little buggers. I remember even Kelly’s mom became super-obsessed with hers and carried it around with her for months!

    Some other things that our kids won’t understand:

    The “save” symbol in most computer programs…it’s a floppy disk! Our kids are going to look at it and be like, “WTF is that thing?”

    Landline phones in general. Seriously. So many people are just cancelling their landlines all together and just using cellphones, by the time our kids are pre-teens there will be no such thing as a phone that has to stay in the house to work.

    Encyclopedias/Dictionaries/Thesauruses. We’re already headed well in this direction. I’m half amazed that every classroom from grade primary up doesn’t have an internet-enabled computer for kids to look things up because who the hell actually breaks open a dictionary anymore?


    There are tons more, for sure…basically the world we grew up in is going to seem like a faraway alternate world from the one our kids are growing up in. @_@


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