Hold on a minute

Mossy phone booth; Olympic National Park

Mossy phone booth; Olympic National Park

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Going Obsolete.”

Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most?

Initially, I struggled with this.  Why would I miss cassette tapes that I had to rewind with a pencil, or a television without a remote, or a 7 lb boombox?  The more I thought about it, I realized it’s not the technology I miss, but the time period it represented.  It’s not even just the memories, but the way things just seemed slower and people seemed to have more time for one another.

There are the memories of standing in front of a television, physically removing my little brothers hand off the knob as he tried to change the channel to Creature Feature which I abhorred; the days of listening to the Top 40 so that I could record those favorite tunes; my aunt and uncle recording my little cousin’s voice and sending the tapes in the mail to my grandparents, and who could forget “film strips” in school?

I miss a landline telephone that emitted a busy signal when people were actually tied up.  Imagine a world where the person you were speaking to and your conversation with them was actually important enough where interruption was denied.  How many times in our current culture do you hear “hold on” a minute, at precisely the wrong time?

Then, there is the written word; from the notes sneakily passed in class to the newsy letters received from a pen pal, stamped from a foreign country (mine was from Sweden).  As I looked through a table of books yesterday and my husband asked, “I thought you had a kindle, why do you need to buy those?”, I said, “I love these too.”  I didn’t bother to explain that I love the feel and the smell and the sound of the pages turning because he wouldn’t understand.  He isn’t a lover of reading.   I don’t think books will ever become completely obsolete, but I fear the generations to come might not appreciate them as much as we do.

So, in closing, I miss those days, the slower ones, but at the same time I am grateful for some of the new inventions and discoveries.  I’ve always lamented jokingly that I was born in the wrong generation.  Maybe the older we get, we all think that?  As we age, the memories accumulate and (hopefully) the wisdom and knowledge increase and we realize what’s really important.


  1. So well written. I forgot about recording your cousin. Thanks for the reminder of the good memory.

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