Friday, October 5, 2012

Can You Party Like It's 1995?

Recently I have been making fun of my husband because it has been 20 years since he was a senior in high school (for the record, it has only been 17 years since I was a senior in high school; I am much younger).  But all of this teasing has gotten me thinking about what life was like 17 years ago (for those math whizzes out there, the year would be 1995).  I started talking to my children about it, and they are certain that they could not survive (no DirecTV, no internet, no DVD or DVR?!).  Question is, could I still survive in 1995?

In 1995, I drove a car with a car phone (I had just upgraded from a "bag phone," which plugged into the cigarette lighter...anyone remember those?).  Notice I did not say a "cell" phone, those came much later.  These were very inconvenient when you were waiting for a phone call because you actually had to stay in the car, with the ignition on.  You couldn't walk around talking to someone and no one had ever heard of "texting."  Plans for the night had to be made in person or on the car phone or, Heaven forbid, on the house phone.  Of course, way back then no one called it a "house" phone or a "land" line, it was simply just the "phone."  Oh, and many of those house phones still had cords attached to the receiver (so did the car phone).  If you had a "cordless" house phone, the antenna was so long that you could not sit comfortable up against anything because the antenna would bend.

We did not have an internet connection on our home computer (assuming you had a home computer at this point since the "mouse" for the computer was a relatively new thing).  That's right, you read that correctly, no internet.  That also meant no email, no chatting online, no blogging, and (gasp) no social media.  We had no idea what was going on with everyone we had ever met in our entire lifetime every second of their day.  That is unless we were sitting next to them in class where we passed notes and the teacher picked them up and pinned them on the bulletin board for everyone to see.  That's how everyone found out everything about you way back then.  And to think we were still stupid enough to pass those things day after day.

There was no concept of taking a picture of what you were doing and immediately posting it online for the world to see.  Come to think of it, that was probably a good thing.  When we took pictures, it was with a camera, and not a digital one.  These cameras actually had film in them that we had to get developed, no instant gratification of knowing that it was a terrible picture of you and should be re-taken. 

However, the worst part (according to my modern children) is that you could not just download a song whenever you wanted and have it immediately.  "What did you do when you wanted to hear a song?!"  Well, obviously over-privileged child of mine, I listened to the radio with a tape in the tape recorder so that I could press "record" when they finally played the song.  "What's a tape recorder?" I gave up, they don't get it.

The best part about 1995: When having a conversation with someone, you were actually having a conversation with that one person, not the people texting you or them, the people talking to you on social media, or the people emailing you.  No wonder we all have ADD, we do too many things at one time.

So, the question is, could you party like it's 1995?  Could you trash your cell phone, your email, your social media, your DVR?  For a week, could you do it?  Or would you have the DTs?

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