Gorotsuki Tenshi (aekiy) wrote,
Gorotsuki Tenshi
aekiy

No Sense of History

Every now and then, someone (usually my mother or mmsword's father) sends me one of those e-mails about how easy kids have it these days and all the things that didn't exist in their youth.  These things drive me crazy, because they are always inaccurate.  Just this morning, I've received the biggest whopper of them, targeted at the just-over-30 crowd.  I'm not over 30 or even quite 30 yet, though I'm getting real close; I know a lot of people just on the cusp or already in their 30s; and most of us have a sense of history and how inaccurate these claims are.

"I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet."

Some form of electronic inter-networking has been around since the 1950s.  Not including dial-up bulletin board systems (BBS), public access to Internet service providers, e-mail, and the World Wide Web has been common since the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Even if you were born in 1970, access was readily available by the time you were 18 and ubiquitous before you reached 30.  I was raised in an isolationist cult, and I remember people using Prodigy, CompuServe, and America Online as a child.  Of course, we all had very limited access and were only supposed to use basic e-mail services and check the weather.

"Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us."

Excuse me?  In the United States of America, there have been criminal court cases involving child abuse since 1655.  We've been concerned about children since far longer than we decided that women and non-Whites were people.  The Children's Bureau was established in 1912; the Social Security Act was amended to fund child protection in 1958; and Child Protective Services was established with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in 1974.  And yes, they cared, even if you didn't.  The Adoption Assistance and Child Wellfare Act was passed in 1980 as well.

"There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes!"

This is the least ridiculous claim, but it's still inaccurate.  The MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 format has existed since 1991, following earlier codecs (such as MP2) from the 1980s.  Napster itself didn't operate until 1999, but file sharing has existed since the BBS days in the late 1970s, Usenet since 1980, file-transfer-protocol (FTP) since 1985, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) since 1988, and in many other forms since then.  iTunes has only existed since 2000, but digital media players such as Windows Media Player have existed throughout the 1990s (1991 in the case of WMP).

"There were no CD players!"

CD players have been in public circulation since Sony released the CDP-101 in 1982.  CDs and players grew in popularity throughout the 1980s, and cassette media effectively died in the early 1990s.  This is just silly.

"We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! [...] And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either!"

I'm not sure exactly when "call waiting" and "caller ID" services were established, but I know my own family had both these services in the early 1990s, and I know the first patents on caller-ID services were granted starting in 1969.

"There weren't any freakin' cell phones either."

Sure there were.  Car phones were first invented in 1946-47 and were first used publicly in the 1950s.  Portable versions have existed since 1957, and they were shrank to "pocket" versions in 1958.  These grew in popularity through the late 1960s, though they were trapped to local areas until the 1970s, when they were finally able to "roam."  Car phones have been popular since the 1980s and cell phones have been ubiquitous since the 1990s.

"We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-end resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600!"

The Atari 2600 was released in 1977.  If you're in the 30s crowd, you were no older than 7 when it was released.  You might only have been 14 when the first PlayStation was released in 1994, and there were 3-D games on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) and Mega CD (Sega CD) back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Let's not forget the Intellivision, Famicon (NES), ColecoVision, Sega Master System, Super Famicon (SNES), 32X, TurboGrafx-16, Neo Geo, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, and Sega Saturn.  Shortly thereafter the Nintendo 64, and even the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 were released by the time people born in the 1970s reached 30.  The Gamecube and Xbox were both released in 2001, when those born in 1970 would just be turning 31.

"You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!"

Not that this is a real issue, but cable television has existed since the 1930s (1940s in the U.S.), and satellite television has existed since 1962.  These are the services which eventually outmoded TV Guide with electronic program scheduling transmission, though I'm not sure exactly when.  The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has been online since 1990, listing details for films and television shows.

"NO REMOTES!!!"

Nikola Tesla invented the first remote controls in 1898.  We've been building remote-controlled robots since the 1900s, airplanes and radios since the 1930s, and televisions since the 1950s.

"There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning."

Cartoon Network's been airing since 1992, when some people 30 or over today were 12 years old, but well before then stations would air after-school blocks of animated programming and shows like The Flintstones had been airing in prime-time slots since 1960.

"And we didn't have microwaves."

Oh, please.  Microwave ovens were invented in the 1940s.  They became wildly popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  Almost no one born in 1970 in the U.S. was born into a household that didn't have or soon acquire a microwave oven.  I don't recall ever having seen a household without one.  So if you were born in the 1920s, sure, you grew up without a microwave oven.  You might even be in your 60s today and not have had one until you were an adult, but you totally got one by your 20s at least.

"And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on."

Child safety seats have existed since 1962.  If you were born in the 1950s or earlier, sure, you might not have gotten that.  Some form of child seat has existed since the 1930s, though, even if most of them were more "booster" seats than "safety" seats.

--

Well, that about covers that e-mail.  I think it's about time for some breakfast.
Tags: chain e-mails
Subscribe

  • When North American news media suddenly discover hentai

    People familiar with Japanese culture, media, and society would not be at all surprised at the release of another video game that includes not just…

  • Presidential Slash?

    Well, that is where Kasha's brain went anyway.. (It makes sense if you assume the hands in the front of the picture are not Ahmadinejad's.) Photo…

  • At actingbunny's request:

    Linked copied from bossgoji: Winter Olympics in a Polish newspaper. (Those familiar with anime and/or 4chan will understand.)

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 22 comments

  • When North American news media suddenly discover hentai

    People familiar with Japanese culture, media, and society would not be at all surprised at the release of another video game that includes not just…

  • Presidential Slash?

    Well, that is where Kasha's brain went anyway.. (It makes sense if you assume the hands in the front of the picture are not Ahmadinejad's.) Photo…

  • At actingbunny's request:

    Linked copied from bossgoji: Winter Olympics in a Polish newspaper. (Those familiar with anime and/or 4chan will understand.)