With the rapid change in the world of technology, as well as the rapid change in my age, I got to wondering, what iconic moments from our childhoods couldn’t have existed today if they weren’t written when they luckily were? Here’s a list of some of those things that came to mind and all of them could easily start with, “Back in my day…” Feel free to leave some of your own examples in the comments below and we might include them in future installments.
…We Had Paperboys
Except for the annoying people in creeper vans who throw unwanted local classifieds in our driveways, and the adoption of twenty-four hour news and online media, the concept of a newspaper delivery boy is completely nonexistent. So if the iconic video game Paperboy (which happens to be included in the games lineup for how to Build an Arcade Machine) had not come out when it did, right before the extinction of said job, this title would never have had a chance at existing…unless maybe you made it about a food delivery guy who was really bad at his job.
…We Used Phone Booths for Changing and Time Travel
It surprises me that Dr. Who went with the tried and true phone booth because if Superman or Bill and Ted were written today, Superman would probably have had to change behind a cell phone pop-up store and Bill and Ted would have had to take their excellent adventure in a port-a-potty. Also, can we call attention to the movie Phone Booth and how it might have been made just in the nick of time to still have been relevant?
…We Also Used DeLoreans for Time Travel
Back to the Future was made at the perfect point in time (no pun intended) because where would the movie be if the time machine was anything other than a DeLorean? Well you tell me, would it have been anywhere near the classic that it is if the time machine was a refrigerator? Yes, a refrigerator, that was actually the original concept. The idea of an automobile only happened because the DeLorean itself, which was still a relevant car at the time, looked like a UFO and that was ideal for going back to the 50’s and producer Steven Spielberg was afraid too many children would get trapped in refrigerators from trying to climb into them.
…We Spoke to Extraterrestrials with Analog Components
In the day of smartphones, Elliot probably would have jailbroken an iPhone and linked it to a satellite, which would have probably made it feel more plausible (for these days and times) but it would have felt sterile in that it’s nothing too different from what we imagine a real life hacker doing. Instead, a glorious Speak & Spell hooked up to a record player, rotating a saw blade, with a coffee can tied to it, allowed for an analog feel where each of us as kids believed we could go home and try to do the same thing if we wanted (minus the blade).
…Boomboxes Doubled as Love Letters
We all know that classic, climactic scene from Say Anything, even if we never saw the movie, where John Cusack’s character, Lloyd Dobler, holds up that glorious, silver boombox with Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” blasting from it almost to say “I love you and I don’t care who knows it.” Now if we’re being honest, that scene would not have been the same with some teenager holding up their smartphone with all of its glorious, tinny highs blasting Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”. Nope. No thank you.
Those are just a few examples of how we’re old but more importantly how, thanks to some genius writers, we luckily have a time capsule of technology and iconic moments wrapped together into one very pretty package. Again, if you too have any memorable moments that, if they weren’t documented when they were, could have been lost thanks to the brisk change of technology, please share them below.