At the age of 45, I’ve lived through an era where technological advancement is proceeding at such a rapid pace that numerous technologies have appeared and then completely vanished from the landscape before successive generations could be born. The telephone in its original incarnation went largely unchanged for the better part of a century. Today, increasingly advanced mobile phones have far more capability than computers and cameras that I was using just a decade ago.
Four years ago I wrote a post about my then 11 year old son and his first encounter with a rotary dial phone. Max has experienced film cameras and vinyl turntables, but he’s never seen an 8-track or a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk. In all likelihood, his children will never have seen a compact disk or DVD. The DVD came to market two years after he was born and by today’s standards is old tech at more than a decade old but will likely be long gone in the next few years. During Max’s life span the Zip disk and other devices have come and gone while audio cassettes, VHS tapes and Polaroid instant cameras have mostly faded into history.
The video above shows a group of French 10 year olds contemplating devices that were contemporary just in my lifetime.