Chances are if you don’t feel old now, you will one day. It will probably happen when some whippersnapper gives you a blank look in response to a cultural reference you’ve made.
Here are some things that could trigger that response from a person born in 2018.
Imagine a decade from now, when your infant is 10 years old, explaining that the image of the button on the cellphone they press when they want to make a call. That image is based on what an actual phone used to look like when phones were tethered to walls by wires. You probably still have a landline phone at your house.
Today’s babies might never know a time when they had to leave the house to get things like clothes and food, instead of just having a drone bring those items to them. Will in-store shopping become a thing of the past? Let’s hope not.
Back in the pre-digital age, you needed to know how to get where you were going before you left the house. “You go 10 miles that way, make a right at the big orange sign, go down a gully, half way up the hill. The house is on the left.” If that failed, you needed a map in the car, or find someone at a gas station to tell you which road to take. Not anymore. Google Maps is on your cellphone. As soon as a 5-year-old learns to read numbers, he or she is good with Google Maps.
Kids born this year will know only the glow of an LED light. They’ll have no idea what an incandescent light is or even looked like a decade or so from now. LEDs use a fraction of the electricity and probably won’t be replaced by a new form of lighting before they go to college.
In an earlier time, there was no such thing as waving your phone at a hand terminal to pay for an item with either Apple or Android pay. Instead, people would, more or less, write down how much they owed on a piece of paper called a check. They’d sign it and give it to another person, who would take it to the bank and exchange it for money.
In the good old days, if you didn’t know how to spell a word, you had to dig around through the pages of a dictionary until you found it. You might also you find the smartest girl in the class and sit next to her. Today, you just have to get close enough to spelling the word correctly, so that spell checker has an idea of what you’re talking about, and bingo, there’s the word.
Finally, do you know who was the 11th U.S. president? Or what’s the capital of the island nation of Malta? In the past, anyone who didn’t know the answer either had to go to the library or maybe look it up in a home encyclopedia. Remember, way back in 2015, when you would go to Google to find the information? Today, all you have to do is ask Siri. By the way James Polk of Tennessee was our 11th president and Valletta is the capital of Malta.