Origami Girl

Friday, 29 August 2014

In which I remember a lot

This blog post is not quite rant, it's more a useful document that I intend to point people at, after a few recent incidents of this:

"I bet you're one of those people who only know how to use an ipad." "Do you even remember tapes?" "Videos were probably before your time."

Let me explain something. If you remember something that happened 5 to 10 years ago, and the person in front of you, is not holding their mother's hand on the way to school, they remember it. If you were in your 30s and they were in their 20s at the time of said technology, they remember it. And unless they are literally learning to read, the ipad is new to them too.

Technology moves fast, I know. But the assertion that someone cannot remember an invention that was common ten years ago is patronising, exhausting and strangely common. Enough of it.

However, for your benefit I have written a convenient list:

Yes I remember tapes.
I remember walkmans.
I remember mixtapes.
I remember putting a tape into a computer to play a game of Chuckie Egg.
I remember when pirating was pressing rec on the radio,
to the tape cassette in my black plastic machine.
I remember personal cd players, all big and chunky in a hoody pocket.
I remember short-lasting minidiscs.
I even have a record player.
I remember when smart phones were new.
When "I have an app for that" was actually being said.
I remember when a camera-phone was a thing, not just a default.
I remember Nokia 3310.
I remember snake.
Yes I remember videos.
I remember recording shows off the tv onto video over busy Christmas holidays.
I even remember Betamax.
I remember gameboys.
I remember joysticks.
I remember computers with dark screens and little yellow text to type with.
I remember Mah Jong being the only computer game I owned.
I remember Playstation One, I remember Game Cube, I remember a time when Microsoft producing a console was unheard of.
I remember dial-up.
and the whirring mixing sounds of my connection to fanfiction.net setting up.
I remember when the Internet wasn't in our house.
I remember when we first got wireless connections.
I remember cameras that used film you clicked into place in the back,
And boxes and boxes of physical photos with delicate brown rolls of memory stuffed into envelopes.
I remember yoyos and building bricks and Lego and Playmobil, and doll houses and
The world has not changed so much, and you are not that old.
Spinning wheels, hand-ploughs, ticker-tape computers, telegrams.
These are things before my time, before my experiences.
And even then, I have seen them used.
The world is not so new.

Digital natives, natural with computers, generation X Y Z: this stuff is rubbish. There are grandads who've never used a computer, and young people with all their books in hardcover not Kobo. There are old CEOs with every latest tech tool, and 10 year old girls who've matched that collection. We are not that different.

Yes, I Remember Tapes.

Have you had people say this stuff to you? Do you have people ask you these kind of questions?
Now I've finished this I think it would make a great beat poem, so I'm going to rewrite all of this, but with rhymes, for another day.


  1. I've never had anyone ask me this, but I remember tapes and I remember when we didn't have a computer too :D I remember when we first got a computer and didn't know what to do with it, because we didn't have internet either. :D

  2. Oh gosh yes! I have had this conversation with people! I don't get it. We still have videos and a video played at home... it wasn't that long ago. It has to be the most patronising thing I've heard, along with the phrase "what do you know, you're just a kid"... I am actually getting annoyed reading about how annoyed you are.

    Yes, I remember tapes too.

  3. Brilliant rant! YES - do re-work it as a performance poem; excellent idea.
    (And audiobooks on tapes, listened to every single morning when I woke up, or carefully chosen to fill my mini backpack to keep me enthralled on long journeys).