There is a lot of negative in today’s world, and I am always hearing about the “good old days”. I appreciate nostalgia as much as anyone else, but we have come so very far in many areas. There are lots of great things happening in the 21st century. This sort of perspective allows me to see past the bad and look forward to a better future, because good things are happening.
A phone can only be a phone, say what?
I love where technology is heading in terms of phones. It may be annoying how attached we are to cellular devices, but it is amazing to be able to text messages and take photos or videos from a hand-held phone.
The existence of the cell phone camera has changed the picture taking game and made it convenient and less of a hassle. My family still breaks out the Nokias and Canons for holidays, sporting events, and celebrations. But now that we have nice digital cameras built into our phones, we can better enjoy vacations and extra-curricular activities without always dragging along a loaded camera bag or camcorder. Cell phone pictures are great for the candid shot, plus being able to share photos in real time is fun.
Our connection to our devices and extended screen time is a continuous problem, but even with that I do not miss landline phones. I was never a big “phone talker”, so I consider texting the absolute best invention of late. So often I just have a quick thing to tell someone and texting is non-intrusive and directly to the point. Life is busy and hectic. I like being able to get answers via text and have the ability to re-read them in my moments of forgetfulness. Text messages can double as virtual sticky notes, and for that I am grateful.
“Can you give my daughter a ride to practice?”, “Can I drop off your coat today?”, “What time are we meeting?”. I text questions like these ALL OF THE TIME and they rarely require more than a one word answer. Texting has allowed me to form connections with acquaintances and parents of children’s friends without being too forward and having to go through awkward and time consuming phone exchanges. Win, win for all.
We no longer must “Be Kind & Rewind”
My husband thought of this “don’t miss” and I jumped on his band wagon. Watching movies and television is so much more enjoyable now that we no longer have to “be kind and rewind”. Streaming videos from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. is great and requires no storage space and no commercial interruptions. Growing up my mom kept loads of VHS tapes in an old dresser. It took up an entire wall space at the bottom of the steps, and often times three movies were recorded on one VHS. It was brutal when my brothers and I really wanted to watch Goonies, but it was the middle movie in-between Innerspace and Cloak & Dagger. It was double the brutality when the first Karate Kid was on a different tape than its sequels.
No more mandatory rewinds and no more commercial ad interruptions makes for happier screen time.
Where were all the YA books when I was younger?
Young adult fiction and non-fiction has exploded. My book selections as an elementary student in the 1990’s was limited. Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley High, Ramona Quimby, Judy Blume, and some R.L. Stine jump out in my mind. Adolescent angst was the main theme for most of these novels and their authors. Where was the sci-fi, the comedies, the graphic novels? If they were around, I could never get my hands on them. Thus I began reading adult thrillers that were way past my PG rated mindset.
My children will never understand the struggle of having limited authors and genres to choose from when visiting the library. Plus there is not only a lot of quantity available, the quality is incredible. Adults enjoy reading: Harry Potter, Maze Runner, Unwanteds, CandyMakers, the Divergent Trilogy, Hunger Games, Heroes in Training, etc. as much as the youngsters. Many famous authors, like John Sandford, Ridley Pearson, and Meg Cabot, have success in writing adult and YA fiction.
Hooray for no more Film Projectors and Less Lectures
My time in the elementary classroom is much different than what my fourth grader and first grader are currently experiencing. My daughters would scratch their heads at the site of a film projector, while many of my early school years involved that clicking and clanking sound of film reeling through the small and large wheels of a vintage projector. Those movies were often older than my grandparents, and so very dull.
Kids still watch movies at school, but they are better quality and much more current. Youtube channels like: Kid President, Smart Girls, Ted-Ed, and more show kids that knowledge is limitless. Today’s classroom also does more peer learning, small group work, and open class discussions. I am not just talking about creative writing class. My daughter does a ton of peer learning for mathematics and it is awesome. Kids master material better from other kids, especially when it comes to explaining long division, story problems, and the Theory of Pi.
Gone are the days of a teacher standing at the front of a classroom and working through a text book. My daughters do not even have text books because their school is teaching ideologies and materials that are current. I see more motivation for students to work at their pace, which allows for kids to move on when ready or get additional help as needed. There seems to be a stronger emphasis nowadays on independent reading, computer coding, and typing. My first-grader is doing coding now in school, while I took only a semester’s worth of computer programming during my senior year of high school.
Journaling, group discussions, the use of technology, and conducting live experiments were teaching techniques that got through to me as a child. Nowadays my kids get to learn this way on a daily basis. I loved the teachers that engaged the whole class and asked students questions, instead of just reciting instructions and dictating answers. It is wonderful to see this type of teaching is now the norm, and not the exception.
The list of “I Don’t Miss” could go on forever
I do not miss secondhand smoke, dial-up internet, busy phone signals, limited produce selection at the grocery store, a world without GPS, kids having to endure chicken pox, and so on and so forth. I appreciate the days of old, but there are great things currently happening which deserve to be embraced. The happenings of now excite me, and they give me hope, which is always important.
What do you not miss? Leave a comment on our website or Facebook page because we would love to hear from our readers on this subject.