Getting old might be fun. There’s retirement, Caribbean cruises, not caring about what you look like, and being able to start sentences with “In my day,” for starters. But brace yourselves, because getting old might be happening a little bit quicker than you think. At least when it comes to gadgets!
Gadgets, while pretty inextricably linked to the years in which they were made and used, do not age like we do. Some of them (the good, useful ones) evolve and change with our increasingly demanding needs. Some are updated so regularly that they become almost unrecognizable next to their original forms.
Others become obsolete and are left in the past with oddities such as the peep-hole parasol and portable bath. How long does this take, you might ask. Fifty years? Sixty? Gulp; we’ve got some bad news. Some millennial gadgets have already become perplexing historical curiosities to the Generation Z kids who grew up with social media.
These eight items have Gen Z-ers completely, totally, and utterly confused. How many of them do you recognize?
Generation Y (or “millennials,” those born between 1981 and 1996 according to Kasasa), was privy to the invention of a number of awesome gadgets that they considered the epitome of modern technology. However, an alarming contingent of curious, cheeky, or downright clueless (depending on how sour you want to be!) Generation Z-ers have admitted to thinking they come from the stone age.
Generation Z, to clarify, is anyone born between 1995 and 2015. And as it turns out, they can’t relate! If you’ve ever rolled down a car window manually or rewound a cassette tape after the film came loose, then you’re likely to be outraged by these social media showdowns.
Hannah’s little sister just asked me what this is… Wow I feel old 👵 pic.twitter.com/YZGmKkbWXw
— Mo O’Leary (@momoney2369) February 16, 2015
Millennials are sharing photos of some of their most beloved childhood or adolescent gadgets, gadgets that were commonplace just a few years ago. Their captions say it all; the next generation has no clue! It’s enough to make you feel like a fossil.
How many of these “historical curiosities” do you recognize? They are, in no particular order: a flip phone, video games, a manual car window crank, a portable CD player, an MP3 player, a manual pencil sharpener, floppy discs, and a cassette tape.
Today, one of the kids I babysit asked me “what is this lever for” and I had to explain it rolls the windows up and down. Yes, I do feel old pic.twitter.com/huKMqR8EoH
— Stephanie Lentz (@StephanieLentz) June 19, 2017
— Gil_6:30 (@Gil_630) August 8, 2016
A deluge of angry millennials responded to gadget throwback photos on Buzzfeed with some excellent examples of their own. “[My 16-year-old sister] once asked our mom if she had a cell phone growing up,” wrote one. “When our mom said they didn’t exist, she asked how people talked to one another.”
Another had a smart twist on the obsolete gadget crisis, suggesting: “So, if these items are kept in a museum they must be worth a lot of money? I’m sure I can find the majority of these things in my parents’ storage!” They could be onto something.
saniya just asked “what are these?” lol made me and @MajorTayIor feel old! pic.twitter.com/yc1PIQvscP
— d. 📸 (@dianaYe_) October 22, 2016
this museum has my first cell phone, 2004 RAZR. I’m old! Yikes pic.twitter.com/sm8ls1Slo9
— Jeff Jones (@spjeff) March 6, 2016
Maybe you’re a Gen Z-er yourself, in which case, pardon us while we curl up and contemplate our encroaching mortality! If you’re on the outraged millennial team, however, then keep your chin up; there’s plenty of us, and we’re here to support each other.
Everything is going to be okay. When the hands-free, hydroelectric, multi-lingual robot orange squeezer comes along, we’ll be just as confused as you are.