I distinctly remember test questions in elementary school that went like this:
“When the big hand is on the 9 and the little hand is on the 11, what time is it?”
Today’s answer would be, “What’s with this big-little hand stuff, my phone says it’s time for an updated test.”
It seems fewer kids can read analog clocks.
According to a report in the Telegraph in London, some schools are substituting digital clocks for analog because students have no idea what’s with the circle filled with a dozen numbers. In their world, it’s 9:45 and never quarter to 10.
But hold on a second. That’s not the only thing kids can’t quite grasp.
Here are other old-fashioned things they’ll never experience:
- Answering a phone having no idea who’s on the other end. Remember “Hello” as a question? Now if an unknown number pops up on screen, it’s taking the express bus to voicemail.
- Writing in cursive. When my son received birthday cards from aunts and uncles, I had to read their handwritten greetings. He looked at me as if I were deciphering hieroglyphics from ancient tablets. In a way, I was.
- Getting lost and defending your decision not to stop at that gas station for directions. The world’s most common argument among spouses is on the endangered list thanks to GPS technology. Venting at Google just isn’t the same.
- Fumbling for translations when traveling abroad. Thanks to advancements in voice recognition, the younger generation will never know the joy of mispronouncing common phrases in travel guides, convinced they’ll eventually be understood by speaking louder and more slowly.
- Cursing how a radio station has too many zeroes in its phone number when you’re trying to be the sixth caller for concert tickets. That’s a dialing reference. Because the zero took the longest to dial. You know, never mind. I probably lost you at “radio station.”
- Programming a VCR. You had to input the channel, the start and finish time, the date or day of the week, the speed of the recording and … OK, VCR programming deserved to die a horrible death.
- Driving. Between Uber, Lyft and self-driving cars, a driver’s license will be used more often to buy drinks at a college bar than for its original intent.
- Completing chores while your computer booted up and connected to the internet. I got a lot of ironing and dusting done while my Tandy 1000 came to life.
- Finding a date without using an app. Once upon a time, meeting a potential romantic partner meant initiating a conversation without the benefit of texting, posting or swiping. I don’t know how our species has survived either.
- Spending Sunday mornings with the newspaper. It’s not even worth my time to explain this one. But trust me, it was a beautiful thing.