Feeling nostalic and remembering old tech

Loreto Cheyne

Ahhh, connecting. With other humans. In Ontario, this January there’s still no in-person events, and gatherings are limited to 5. Add to that the brutal temperatures we’ve been having, and maybe that’s why I’m feeling extra itchy to reach out and interact with people!

I think that’s why the nostalgia bug hit. I found some of my high school stuff, and there’s a few treasures in there. Not just the actual objects, but the memories attached. 

The thing that stands out is the technology. Things were so much simpler (but bulkier) in the 80’s. Yes, I was lucky enough to grow up in the 80’s :-)

Remember how big a deal it was to have a Walkman? I do. And if you had a Walkman, chances are, you also had some mixed tapes. Of course mixed tapes meant listening to the radio, and pressing the “record” button while hoping the DJ wouldn’t talk into your song. Good times!

My best friend had a Walkman permanently attached to her head during high school. Even while we walked to school. Back then, no one’s parents drove them to school. No one. We walked, or we took the public bus. Either way, we were surrounded by other kids. And we TALKED. Yes, actual conversations.

But while classes were on we couldn’t talk, so “passing notes” was a popular form of communication. Paper and pen and stealth. That’s all the tech you needed.

And once you got home, you had to call if you wanted to talk to a friend. And yes, I grew up with an actual landline. Back then phones were usually in the living room or kitchen, so the whole family got to hear your conversation – until you moved up in the world and your parents let you have a phone in your room.

And the concerts! I hope you went to concerts in the 80’s because they were awesome. My fondest memory is the way everyone would light up their Bic lighters -and the arena would be filled with flickering lights. You don’t really get the same effect these days with the light on your cell phone. 

So here’s the thing: I love cell phones. Today’s technology is amazing (I mean, Sirius in your car??? yes please!). But I look back at my high school years and I feel fortunate that I grew up back then. Because “old school technology” gave me communication skillls that today I think are immensely useful. That, and the fact that I can see the difference in generations. 

Those memories are irreplaceable. Mainly because all of them involve friends. All the tech stuff I mentioned above included friends. And that’s the one thing that nostalgia brings home for me: these days I’m stuck at home, with the only interaction is online.

My zoom is about to start. I hope you’ve taken a trip down memory lane with me....and smiled.



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