Parenting Positive Kids

#1 of 6 Things Our Kids Just Plain Won't Get
November 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Many of the Phrases and Pictures We Use Every Day

Do you use Skype or Yahoo Messenger? Take a look at some of their icons.

Specifically, the "Call" and "Voice Call" icons.

I know my kids have never used the old microphone that Yahoo Messenger uses to represent "Voice Call" because I raised them, and therefore can safely say than none of them are news anchors from the 1950s. But it won't be long before the vast majority of the people using those programs have never used a phone or mic like that, or even seen one in person. It doesn't take a genius to know that those are just outdated and obsolete versions of modern phones and mics, and you might even recognize them from any movie filmed before 1995, but other concepts might be harder to grasp.

For instance, if you weren't alive during the early 90s, how are you supposed to know what the hell that thing next to the "Save" button on every single program in existence is supposed to represent.

A Transformer talking out of the side of its mouth?

My generation knows that the little square icon is supposed to be a 3.5-inch floppy disk -- the primary means of backing up files or transferring them between computers from the 1970s through about 10 years ago. But even though these things no longer have a purpose or even exist in the computing world, they're still the universally recognized symbol for "save your work."

It would take 111,112 of these to backup your 160 gig hard drive. One of them could hold about one minute of one MP3.

But it's not just icons. There are terms that have outlasted the technology they described. Like when TV programs use the phrase "weekly rewind," my kids never bat an eye because to them, "rewind" just means to look back on something. To review it or play it again. The idea that tape would have to be physically wound around spools to watch something again is foreign to them.

A few people even had video rewinders. These same people own $300 HDMI cables today.

The term just stuck around, presumably because the importance of rewinding videotapes was drilled into our heads by video rental stores with more urgency than AIDS awareness.

We use the term "dashboard" to describe the control panel on a computer program. But everyone in my generation knows the dashboard is actually a shelf in the car that holds all of our cigarettes, sunglasses and speeding tickets. But wait -- that's still not actually what it is.

A dashboard is actually from my great-grandparents' generation, when horse and buggy was the common means of transportation. The dashboard was a piece of wood put up as a shield to protect your face and clothes when the horse took off running and its feet started slinging (or dashing) mud up at you.

Also where you mounted your wicked CD players.

OK, so maybe my generation is just as guilty of not knowing what we're talking about. But that doesn't make it any less strange that my kids will have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention ...


  • mysticalmalissa
    November 16, 2012 at 5:22 AM

    My 22 and 20 year old are very well educated in both the floppy and vcr tapes.

    My 5 year old shall remain clueless. LOL

  • SabrinaLC
    November 16, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    so funny!

  • mamadee1971
    November 16, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    I think I still have a couple of hard disks that I never got to use.  By that time, companies stopped making CPU's that had hard disk drives and floppy disk drives.  I own a VCR/DVD player combo, and a crap load of VHS tapes.  I think they have converters where you can transfer your movies and music from VHS/cassette onto CDs/MP3/DVDs.  Yes, I still have vinyl records and cassettes, but the rest of my music is downloaded on my Windows Media Player amd my MP3.

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