My name is Michelle and I am scared of the present day.
When I was young, we dreamed of the future being, well, IN THE FUTURE. It was fun to think about how in the future, you would be able to have video phone calls with your friends and not have to wait for “same day” photo developing, with the possibility that your photos might end up all completely black. “Imagine when we’re like, 70 and old and people will have miniature TV screens and stuff that they just carry around!” I would say excitedly to my friends. I guess I felt safe knowing that these things would happen eventually, but that I would be too old to really have need or want of them. So I could sit back and enjoy watching the kids play with the new technology, and fondly remember my happy 70 years of playing board games and “making my own fun”. I imagined I would witness it, but not have to be a part of it.
Then suddenly, what the fuck?! The future is here already. I can’t handle this; I’m 26 and I don’t want to have to be one of the technology kids. I fantasise about the power going out, and my flatmates being forced to play board games with me. The other night I actually got Nick to play 20 questions with me. And we did! For almost 2 hours! Nick is fucking ace at that game; he guessed Steve Buscemi after 5 or 6 questions.
It scares me that people are so attached to their mobile phones that they will neglect present physical company to hunch over their phone. Skype? No, you’re not meant to happen until at least 2040. Get down from there.
And what the hell is happening to TV? My boyfriend has a 3D TV! With special 3D glasses! OK, I assumed that this would happen at some stage, but not for the average Joe! I thought that it was maybe something that only millionaires would have. If regular people are watching television in 3D at home, then the future is definitely here. And its extremely weird to walk in and see this:
I fondly looked on as the Walkman was superceded by the Discman. I used to love listening to my favourite CDs, so long as it was on a flat surface, with no movement, and plenty of spare AA batteries. And then what happened? Oh yeah, THE FUTURE. I don’t know if anybody remembers the MiniDisc, but I sure do. Oh, how I was jealous of Brendan “Spud” Clark from Otago Boys High, flashing about his MiniDisc player on the school bus. But before I could save up my babysitting money to get one, they had disappeared and were replaced by mp3s. WHAAAAAAT!????? How is it possible that there are 150 songs on ONE CD OH MY GOD I NEVER HAVE TO CHANGE THE CD IN THE CAR AGAIN LIFE AS WE KNOW IT IS OVER.
But this wasn’t supposed to happen! We were meant to be using CDs until I was at LEAST 60. Now that it was all about mp3s, you needed to have a computer to organise your music. But hark! I protested. Computers are for businesspeople, printing school projects, doing Encarta 95 and California Games! Why should somebody need a computer to be able to have music?
“BECAUSE I SAID SO” boomed the future.
OK fine. I didn’t need mp3s anyway. In fact, I was buying and listening to CDs right up until 2006 – when my Dad bought himself a Creative Zen mp3 player, and decided to get me an iPod. That’s right. My Dad had an mp3 player before I did. Oh, did I mention that I am writing this blog on my Dads old 2005 Toshiba Satellite Laptop? That’s right. I am using my Dad’s old laptop, because he got a laptop in 2005, the same year he got a digital camera. I got my digital camera in 2009. Its a 7.1 Megapixel camera and it works just fine, thank you very much.
So as you can see, I was technologically eclipsed by my computer-illiterate father. And I do mean computer illiterate. I used to put his photos onto his laptop for him and put his music onto his mp3 player for him. He even used to pay me to type up some of his work stuff for him. But still, I continued my struggle and fought the great fight. Surely things would settle down and we could get back to our Goosebumps books and the Sweet Valley High board game on a Friday night, like we were supposed to be doing until the year 2050.
Sometime between when I was 13 and now, people stopped using “Altavista” and “Yahoo”, and started using Google instead. Then along came MySpace and Bebo, which were simply gateway drugs to FACEBOOK AND THE iPHONE. While we are on the topic of mobile phones, I didn’t have a mobile phone that could text until I was 18. All my friends were “txting” people and shit when they were 15, and I had a random phone that Dad gave me when he upgraded his. This particular model was a Phillips Isis, and it had a small All Blacks logo on it.
The phone number started with “025” and it didn’t text. I left it in a drawer until I was nearly 16, and then I think my friend Heidi and I got drunk on Mississippi Moonshine and prank called people with it. I was fine with not having a mobile phone during high school, I had a landline telephone in my bedroom and that was good enough for me. When I was 12, I had always wanted a phone jack in my bedroom, and now I had one. Yussss! Anyway, I had a great social life, didn’t miss out on anything, had a part time job, and still had friends. All of this without a mobile phone, laptop, mp3 player, digital camera, or Facebook check-ins. Imagine!
Now that I have finished rambling on about my mobile phone that didn’t text, I should continue what I was saying before. Ah yes, how social networking took over everyone’s lives. At first it was quite fun, and as I was at university, I had a lot of spare time to dick around on the uni computers which had free internet. But then I realised how much it sucks. Soon people were “checking in” at the train station at 8am, and ignoring my presence to play with their iPhones. And then it hit me. This is the stuff that was supposed to happen when I am 80. Not like this… NOT LIKE THIS!
At work, we use Office Communicator, which is like msn messenger but for people who are all on the company network. Now there is no more need for “memos” and “post-its”. In fact, I do not use a single piece of stationery at my job. This is sad because I know for a fact that there is a wonderful stationery cupboard, brimming with exciting things like staplers, protractors, compasses, blank CDs, colourful post-its, white-out and all that exciting shit that I used to look forward to getting at the start of the school year. I miss Duraseal so bad. I bet the kids these days probably just take laptops to school, or have USB ports on their necks, where the teacher just “uploads” the information into the bases of their skulls.
I don’t belong here. I want to go home, home to the floppy disk and the $1 mixture that lasts all day. I belong to a time where penmanship, spelling and grammar were held in high regard, and computers and mobile phones were work necessities, not the playthings of Hannah Montana’s groupies. I want to experience a time where men were men and ladies were coquettish, and more than 10% of the population knew what the word “coquettish” even meant.
If the future can give me one thing I desire, its a time machine.
Love, Chelle xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxox