#FlashbackFriday – Normal vs. Normal (Then and Now)

An understanding of how times have changed

normal

At the risk of stating the obvious, times have changed. What many of you Generation Zers (and maybe even you later millennials) see as “normal” now is quite the development for us early ’80s babies. You call it everyday living, we can it extreme technological advancement.

You need a dose of reality. Just a little perspective on how things could’ve and would’ve been had you arrived on this here planet a decade or two earlier. Check out these comparisons and be grateful that you got here when you did.

1. Knowing who’s calling.

Normal then: You: Hello. Them: Hello, may I speak to_____________? You: Sure, who’s calling? That’s right. Back in my earlier days, in order to know who was calling you, you had to ask. If there was a call that you didn’t want to take your only option was to let the phone keep ringing or pray you were one of the lucky ones that had an answering machine—or as you youngins’ like to call it, voicemail.

Normal now: Just look down at your phone.

2. Waiting on television broadcast news to tell you what’s poppin’.

Normal then: Something happens in the world at 2:00 p.m., you wait on the 7:00 p.m. news to tell you all about it. Yes, a 5 hour delay, and guess what? We survived. If it didn’t happen on your block or you didn’t happen to cross paths with someone “in the know” you sat there, you waited, and you felt no way about it.

Normal now: Something happens on another continent at 1:00 p.m., Twitter tells you at 1:01 p.m.

3. Job Applications.

Normal then: Pounding pavement. You walk into an establishment dressed fairly decent, well-groomed, pen in hand and waited to fill out a job application.

Normal now: Click “Apply with LinkedIn” and wait for a phone call. Better yet, an e-mail.

Which brings me to…

4. Mail

Normal then: Your bills, friendly correspondence, and all other pertinent written information got to you by way of your mailman, at a certain time of the day. Yes, it might take 3-5 days to know the last notable thing to happen to your bestie and no, you didn’t know how much your bill was until an envelope arrived, but again, we survived.

Normal now: Your phone just buzzed, it’s your e-mail telling you the gas bill is due, click about two more buttons to pay it. Oh, and that last notable thing that happened to bestie? You knew while it was happening.

5. Phone calls.

Normal then: You needed to make a phone call, you either waited until you got home or you had to find a pay  phone (this is a public telephone that everyone shared, that was placed sporadically around town, that you had to pop a quarter in to dial out—for those of you who are unfamiliar). You inserted a quarter into said phone and you dial a number that you either remembered or had hand written on a sheet of paper and you made your call.

Normal now: Reach into your pocket, hit send.

(This one admittedly trips me up cause how??? How did we survive???)

This list could go on and on but I’m starting to resent your privilege, so I’ll quit now. Expect a part 2 when I calm down, though, cause this ain’t over.

You get the point. You know nothing of struggle. Be grateful.