An iPod is Not Ancient Technology

They say that age is a state of mind, whomever they is anyway. Those same nameless, faceless people also say that you are only as old as you feel. I suppose that it is a good thing as I feel very young and know that I am far younger than The Shmata Queen.

Anyhoo, I recently took part in a group in which we discussed technology and how we use it within our daily lives. As part of the discussion the moderator took time to quiz us all on what sorts of gadgets we used on a regular basis. The collection of devices was fairly uniform. We all had computers and smartphones. All of us used them on a regular basis and agreed that they had become a big part of our lives.

It was a normal conversation that didn’t contain anything particularly noteworthy until the college student said that she also had really old technology- a first generation iPod. That got my attention, in large part because of the manner in which she said it.

In her eyes it really was old- so old that it made her part of the old timer’s club. I sat there for a moment absorbing the impact of her comment. I have a first generation iPod as well as the most current iPod Touch. But I hadn’t ever realized that I looked at the iPod as new technology.

It hadn’t ever occurred to me that the generation gap would be pronounced in this manner. We weren’t talking about rotary phones, typewriters or beepers. We were talking about something that isn’t very old as if it was a phonograph. We were talking as if it was an old turntable the played 33s, 45s and 78s.

I am not old enough to be spoken to like that. Call me sir and I still look for my father because you can’t be talking to me. But perception is a funny thing. Wasn’t that long ago that someone told me that I couldn’t possibly be in my forties- they figured me for 35. I smiled and then laughed because I remember when 35 was old.

And then I remember again how quickly life experiences change your perspective and point of view. It is almost a decade since 9/11. The girl who talked about the ancient iPod said that she was 20 or 21. Subtract a decade and you have a girl who was in grade school when the towers fell. She doesn’t remember how easy business travel used to be because she wasn’t old enough to have ever done it.

She doesn’t remember the fall of The Berlin Wall or the first Gulf War. Those things are history to her and I suppose to us too. But my generation and those older lived through them- we see them differently than just something we read about in our history classses.

And that my friend is why I left that place feeling a tad older than when I went in.

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6 Comments

  1. TheJackB August 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    It is shameful to see how poorly educated some people are. The lack of awareness and understanding about why some things are important concerns me. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  2. Keith Wilcox August 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I won a writing contest in high school where my prize was a piece of the Berlin Wall (the contest was to write about the Berlin Wall). I still have that piece,graffitied and everything, stored safely away. I've mentioned it a couple of time to people much younger than me, and I'm shocked that some of them don't know what the Berlin wall was! The generation gap, like you mention, is pronounced now. But, even worse than that, the newer generations don't seem to know their history. A 20 year old kid I talked to last month had no idea who Margaret Thatcher is. And iPod being old technology seems to highlight our generational differences, that's true. But some kids these days are just totally uneducated to boot. That's a bad combination.
    My recent post Back to School- Where are the Pencils

  3. TheJackB August 7, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Well MA'AM, I'll try to remember that. I hear good things about the Zune- but I got sucked into Apple so for now…
    My recent post I Had a Dream

  4. girlvaughn August 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    It seems like more and more my friends and I are having "kids these days" conversations… Poor girl probably would have had a heart attack when I told her I use a Zune instead of an iPod. (it's a long story that involves my husband working for the music industry and not liking the Apple model – see, there I go feeling like I have to justify myself over gadgets.)

    And also. DON'T CALL ME MA'AM.
    My recent post oh hey- can I ask a favor

  5. TheJackB August 7, 2010 at 4:52 am

    A mystery of the time-space continuum I suppose. That is as good an answer as any I can think of.

  6. CK_Lunchbox August 6, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    That seems almost surreal to put the time since 9-11 in the context of how old that girl was. I remember what I was doing the day, and being let off work early. I only had one kid. Like the iPod, it's not really ancient, but it's different in the subtle way that it masks the expanse of time from then until now. A mystery of the time-space continuum I suppose.

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