Friday’s Five: Things the younger generations will never know

Today’s kids are pretty lucky when it comes to how much easier life has become compared to the lives of our grandparents.  There are so many things that they will not know at all because they have become obsolete in our lifetime.

Rotary Phones

Even toy phones now are made like cell phones.  Who still owns a rotary phone except my grandmother?  Most lines are now tone lines versus the old pulse lines.  My grandmother has the original phone given to her by the telephone company when they installed the phone in the 1940s.  It is a huge black piece of equipment that is quite heavy.  It still works and is a testament to how far telecommunications have come in the past century.  Not to mention the fact that they won’t see non cordless phones either.  They will never know what it means to take a phone call and have to sit still in the same place until that phone call ends because the phone is attached to the wall with a cord.  They also won’t know what it means to call their friends and have their mom tell them that their friend has gone out or is not at home.

Not Having Internet

The Internet was invented and became a hit in my lifetime.  I was not born into a world with Internet, I didn’t have an email address or IM until I was a young teen.  They on the other hand are born with their facebook or twitter accounts (created by their parents)  they know how to google Barney before they go to preschool.  To them every piece of information in the world is accessible and they know how to get it.  They will not learn how to research a subject from books in a library.  They will not think of Encyclopedias when they want to find something out.  Britannica will not be synonymous to knowledge, Google will.

Channel 5

I am thinking of Egypt’s Channel 5 which is Alexandria’s channel.  I am not making sense am I? Actually I was thinking about free to air satellite TV and all the channels that everyone has access to now.  We had our first satellite receiver installed back in 1995 I think.  The receiver was an ugly black analoge contraption.  It gave us the freedom to watch non Egyptian TV.  Kids today do not really understand what “limited choices” mean because well, their choices are limitless.  Even if they can’t find something they like on TV they can always watch YouTube or Hulu or any of the channels streaming their content on the Internet. And if you have never watched channel 5 be very grateful.

Defrosting food the old fashioned way

Because they don’t know what it is like living before the microwave become a staple household item.  They might not even learn how to make popcorn the old fashioned way.

Cassette Tapes and VHS tapes

Who would use tapes if they can get better quality from CDs and DVDs.  I hated our VCR it would break down all the time and all the rewinding and fast forwarding.  DVDs are so much cooler especially with director’s cuts and extras.  MP3 players are also so much better than cassette tapes.  The average MP3 player is the same size as a tape maybe much smaller but it holds a  thousand times more in terms of audio.  Even MP3 players have come a long way.  Better quality audio, larger storage capacity and the ability to play video or show audio books.

What do you think the younger generations will not get to see or experience?


  • At 2010.01.15 11:39, Mona said:

    So true. Remember manually stopping, ejecting, and flipping the cassette, then rewinding…waiting. We had more patience!

    • At 2010.01.25 15:21, jessyz said:

      Hehehe yeah a Walkman was the best thing since sliced bread back then and the kids who had them were cool.

      • At 2010.01.15 15:19, Tarek said:

        I like this list some much, so let me add even more items to it,

        – Five and ten piasters: I don’t think a couple of years from now there will be anything in the markets cheaper that 1 LE.

        – Pencils and Pens: I think this will take a while to disappear, yet I am sure our grandsons will do their homework online, and they will just need a laptop in their backpacks when they go to school.

        – Laptops: Here I am contradiction with myself, but yes, laptops will disappear too, and mobile phones will replace them.

        – Cooking: I am not sure when will this happen, but I believe somewhere in the future women won’t need to cook their food, it will just be delivered. Ordering food then will be the norm and only old-fashioned women will continue reading food recipes and own an oven.

        – Offices: Why are we supposed to go to work, when we can just do our jobs from home via the internet. I am sure, only few of us will continue to work from offices, while the majority will work from home.

        • At 2010.01.25 15:22, jessyz said:

          True about the five and ten piasters, offices and maybe laptops. I think laptops will more or less evolve into something totally different.
          I wouldn’t want cooking or pencils to disappear.

          • At 2010.01.15 22:49, Anas Qtiesh said:

            Things we did not learn:
            – How to make fire by rubbing to sticks together.
            – How to hunt our own food.
            – How to walk for days to get to a city 100 KM away.
            – How to have fun when there’s no electricity.
            – How to keep the milk from going bad without a fridge.

            • At 2010.01.25 15:23, jessyz said:

              So true, I guess every generation needs a different set of skills

              • At 2010.01.16 02:24, ze2red said:

                Jessy, i used to watch deros thanweya 3amma on channel 5 :). The finals questions were always aired the day before exams 😀

                cassette tapes, i still have a bunch of them and i don’t want to throw them away :(

                what will they miss…

                Books: as u said everything is available online, so will books. Text books, novels, references. all kinds of books will be online and they will cost almost nothing if they weren’t for free.

                Electrical wires/cords: sometime in the future they will be sending electricity via air, and everything will work that way (though till now they think it’s not healthy)

                computers/laptops: portable mobile-sized devices will be available for everyone to carry. They are interactive data shows that show you everything on any surface, and guess what it will have wifi/blue tooth access… and i guess it might be advanced and have direct satellite access. because this device already exists but it’s not widely spread yet.

                • At 2010.01.25 15:24, jessyz said:

                  Hahaha I hate channel 5.
                  Books too will most probably get phased out too

                  • At 2010.01.16 11:27, Rula A. said:

                    I was born in 1984 but I don’t know what Channel 5 is.. Is it a must to live in Egypt to know it?
                    We still make popcorn the old fashioned way,, I’ve save my music collection that is on Cassette Tapes in a colorful box and I am showing it off in my room.. I got most of them from Music Box –Very High Quality- and I still have Adnan W Lina on VHS tapes :)

                    • At 2010.01.25 15:25, jessyz said:

                      I am older than you but not by much, Channel 5 is the local TV channel for Alexandria.
                      I stopped making popcorn the old fashioned way when I realized I could never get it right.
                      I threw away lots of tapes and gave up on the VCR years ago.

                      • At 2010.01.16 13:11, ze2red said:

                        rula, i was born in 84 too. Yes if u lived in Egypt you would have known what Channel 5 is. It was the official national television aired from Alex. Because at some time, Who lived in Cairo were only able to watch channels 1 and 2, and Alex’s citizens watched channel 5.

                        Adnan W Lina, Ohhh… how i miss my childhood. those tapes are treasure, don’t ever think of getting rid of them.

                        • At 2010.01.16 13:22, Rula A. said:

                          xD Don’t worry I won’t

                          • At 2010.01.16 16:39, Amira AK said:

                            nice post. i’m a bit older.. so i witnessed channel 5 and channel 3 and then every local channel airing as they started to air and the great celebrations associated with that. As we were installing our new LCD last week, we were contemplating whether we should connect our VCR to it, or just discard it and the cupboard full of VHS tapes that used to stand behind the old tv. We opted to keep it – for old times sake, but had to move the cupboard. I’ll have to take a few days off work and take a trip down memory lane sorting out all those tapes some day soon. as for the internet.. well, i vividly remember when the internet was installed in our house. when we started using dial-up and when because i was studying at AUC i had privileges of email and internet access many other people we knew didn’t have. And i remember when Ain Shams university decided to give its staff internet and email privileges too. It was like a breakthrough.. and when Ritsec was the main email provider in Egypt. my mom and i were remembering yesterday how when I went to the US in 1996 for 6 weeks, we used to chat together via a black screen. no msn or yahoo messenger, nor of course skype and all the more recent chat/talk/video thingies we use now. it was amazing to be able to chat without having to pay international calls that were then very expensive.
                            but yes, we had more patience, and things had more value then.

                            • At 2010.01.25 15:28, jessyz said:

                              I can imagine. I mean I can video call my mom for free whenever I feel like it, when she was in Kuwait when she first got married, she had to physically go to the ‘central’ or send recorded tapes to her mother. I guess this is why we value things more than the younger generations because we know how life was like without these things.

                              • At 2010.01.16 20:12, olderthanyou said:

                                …and the cycle continues you’ve probably never had:

                                an 8 track tape
                                record player
                                black and white tv
                                an ice box
                                a telex machine

                                • At 2010.01.25 15:29, jessyz said:

                                  My mom’s uncle has an 8 track tape player and a record player, I remember thinking ‘wow these are so prehistoric’ when I first saw them. The kids probably say that bout our Walkmans

                                  • At 2010.01.18 16:47, Nerro said:

                                    I like this post 😀
                                    I am a tad older ya Jessy, and I used to have a kick out of Ch. 5 during the weekend, they used to air nice songs till morning :)) actually there were a couple of programs that I used to follow back then. I created my first email address in my early twenties, shortly after my graduation from college, and I can still remember how thrilled Nesrina and I were trying to set things up.
                                    I don’t think younger generation would enjoy a warm family gathering after iftar (during ramadan) watching Alf Leila w Leila, and comment on sherihan hair, make up, and dresses.
                                    Grandma used to record all the episodes in order for us to watch them during the summer vacation (something to keep us busy watching during the tv transmission cut off. she still has the tapes 😀

                                    • At 2010.01.25 15:30, jessyz said:

                                      Heheheh Grandma has lots of patience. But I guess you are right, life was slower back then and people were more intimate and took time to enjoy each others company. Today even when people are together at iftar watching whatever, everyone is on their blackberry or iphone connecting with other people, instead of focusing on the here and now.

                                      • At 2010.01.19 16:48, Sameha said:

                                        Maybe wht may dissapear soon will be the windowshopping, you can windowshop all shops now thru the internet and not to mention all the brands and instead of asking others abut wht they think of a certain elcetrial appliance, you can always compare via kamrt or any similar :).

                                        • At 2010.01.25 15:31, jessyz said:

                                          Reema would be very sad, she loves to shop.

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                                            • At 2010.01.28 10:10, Hajar Alwi said:

                                              I will have to go with the demise of traditional food! TV dinners, frozen food, fast/junk food, take-outs etc. have taken precedence over good old fashioned cooking. Food that I ate when I was a child are no longer served in family functions ‘cos 1. No one wants to learn how to make it. 2. Even if someone knows, they don’t wish to slog hours in the kitchen. 3. Why cook when you can buy it?

                                              • At 2010.01.28 11:56, jessyz said:

                                                I love cooking, I like to think of it as an art. When I first got married I was totally lost in the kitchen and we ordered too much takeout or had frozen pizza. Once I found my sea legs in the kitchen we have totally noticed the difference in the quality of food we are eating

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