How Quickly We Forget

I often catch myself complaining about things that wouldn’t even have been possible a few short decades or even a few years ago, either because the technology didn’t exist or because I was in a very different place in life.

This is a list of things I’ve caught myself saying and a reminder of how things were at one point. We all need a step back sometimes to realize how good we have it.

Now…

I don’t have reception.

We’ve all been on that hill somewhere or visiting Hitler’s bunker only to find we have no cell phone reception. It’s funny that most of my life was spent without a tiny computer in my pocket, yet I’ve become so used to having it there in just a few years that I complain if it doesn’t work exactly like I want it to.

Then…

I have to sit around all night waiting for that call.

Back when I was a kid, cell phones didn’t exist. If you wanted to make or receive a call from outside of your home, you went to one of these:

(ak47.com)
(ak47.com)

If you were waiting for a call, you literally sat by the phone and waited for a call, because if you missed it, you missed it forever. Voice mail didn’t exist, so they couldn’t even leave you a message.

Now…

Someone with a private number keeps calling and hanging up.

Unless I’m expecting a random call, I don’t answer calls if I don’t recognize the number. Leave a voice mail and I might call you back.

Then…

Hello?

When I was growing up, caller ID didn’t exist. When the phone rang, you answered it, because it could be a telemarketer or it could be that cute boy from History class.

Now…

My navigation lies.

I’m still not convinced that Google maps isn’t a giant practical joke. 99% of the time, GPS will get you where you’re going with no fuss, but every once in a while, it takes you on a ridiculous route.

Then…

The directions my friend gave me are terrible.

Way back in the early 00s, we didn’t have navigation. If you wanted directions somewhere, you either looked at a map or asked someone.

mymarilee.com
mymarilee.com

Now…

I wish I had a yard.

Having a dog without having a yard is a tremendous pain in the ass.

Then…

I wish I had a home.

Yep, at one point, I was homeless in the middle of winter.

Now…

I’ll never be able to have another car without a sunroof. I’ve gotten so used to it.

The last two cars I’ve owned have had a sunroof and I’m quite fond of having one. I use it all the time.

Then…

I would love to have a car with power locks and windows.

Until two cars ago, I’d never even had one of these:

(homelockandkey.com)
(homelockandkey.com)

I got my first clicky thing in 2009. I drove a car from the late 90s to mid 00s that didn’t have power windows, power door locks or really power anything.

Now…

I’ll never be able to quit smoking.

I’m one of those idiot smokers. I’ve tried quitting a few times, but I’ve never made it longer than a few months. Someday, I intend to quit for good.

Then…

I’ll never be able to quit smoking crack.

I quit drugs all on my own. No rehab. No support groups. No support at all.

Now…

I can’t afford sushi.

And this makes me sad since I would eat it several times a week if I could.

Then…

I can’t afford ramen noodles.

I remember scrounging for change to buy a 25 cent package of these:

(nissinfoods.com)
(nissinfoods.com)

And sometimes failing.

Now…

It’s freezing in here!

My house is two stories. Upstairs is warmer than downstairs (heat rises). In the winter, if I want a reasonably warm living room downstairs, I end up with an extremely warm bedroom upstairs. Reverse in the summertime.

I live in southern California where the coldest it gets is somewhere in the 20’s (-7 C).

Then…

I wish I had heat.

When I was eighteen, I lived in an apartment with no heat in Detroit during winter. The coldest it gets in Michigan is somewhere below zero.

Find your own state here.
Find your own state’s record here.

I used to turn on the gas oven and open the door for heat. Not the safest form of heating. How did I not die of either frostbite or gas inhalation?

Now…

There’s nothing on Netflix that I want to watch.

Even with thousands of titles at my fingertips, I’ve actually thought this more than a few times.

Then…

There’s nothing to watch on channels 2, 4, 7, 11 or 50.

Those were our only options. And we had to get up to change the channel. The remote control wasn’t a thing until the late 80s.

Now…

This torrent has Portuguese subtitles and I can’t turn them off.

I hate when I download something only to find that the format can’t be played on my PS3, or it has no subtitles or the wrong ones.

Then…

The video store is out of that new release we wanted to see.

Time was, when you wanted to watch a new release, you went to the video store and rented it. Usually, a bunch of people had gotten there before you and already rented the fifteen copies they had.

Now…

I don’t want to listen to any of the 10,000 songs in my pocket.

I’ve driven around hitting skip fifteen or so times before I find a song that is good enough.

Then…

I don’t want to listen to any of the 20 CDs in my CD book.

If you really wanted to hear David Bowie, but you left your David Bowie CDs at home, too bad.

Now…

The picture is blurry. Line up again.

We do not realize or remember how lucky we are to take multiple shots of something as it’s happening and use only the best one.

Then…

The pictures we took yesterday are all blurry. Oh well.

Before digital cameras, you took multiple shots of an image as it was happening, took the film to the photomat that processed it and gave you prints 24 hours later. If they were all blurry, too bad. That’s so yesterday.

Now…

I’m trying to remember the capital city of Zimbabwe and my phone isn’t cooperating.

I actually get annoyed when I can’t find information in the top five search results.

Then…

I’m trying to remember the capital city of Zimbabwe. I guess I’ll go to the library.

Before we had computers in our pockets, we had to find things out the hard way. Many pointless arguments were had over which was the right answer.

The capital of Zimbabwe is Harare, by the way.

Now…

I can’t find the lyrics to this song on the internet.

Once in a while, I’ll look up the lyrics to a song and find no results.

Then…

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Now…

My computer is low on space. I guess I’ll have to get another external.

This has happened since I tend to save things I’m actively working on to the internal hard drive. When I run out of room, I move it to an external drive. I currently have one 1T and one 2T drive attached to this computer.

Then…

I can’t save this on one floppy disc. The file is too big.

I remember trying to save a file in the 90s only to find out that there wasn’t enough room on a 1.44MB floppy disc:

(wikipedia.org)
(wikipedia.org)

A lot of you have never even seen one of those in person, yet it’s still the universal icon for “Save” in most applications.

What ridiculous complaints do you have that you wouldn’t have had back in the day?