1. There was one black telephone in our apartment for all 5 members of my family. There was no caller i.d. and we rarely received unsolicited sales calls. I don’t recall ever getting a scam call. Call waiting was what you did while you waited for the phone to ring because a friend had said they’d give you a call after school.
2. Phone calls were usually short and a means of setting up a time and place to meet up. Chats with friends and family far away were about catching up on all the news until the next time we’d talk. If we couldn’t afford regular long distance calls and many couldn’t, we’d write letters. Letters were newsy and frequently filled with funny stories. Sometimes photos would be enclosed.
3. There was no children’s programming on TV before school. This meant I ate my breakfast and nattered away with my sister and my mother before rushing to brush my teeth and get out the door.
4. Kid’s programming went till 5:00 or 5:30 during the week. With nothing on we’d turn off the TV, play till dinner, do homework, or do chores.
5. It was always exciting on Monday mornings when my friends and I would ask each other about what we did on the weekend. There were so many different things people did. We’d ask each other questions and learn about one another’s worlds.
Why do I hope to never forget these things? Because these experiences give me a point of reference for when I feel I want to disconnect from technology. They also gave me the skills to plan get-togethers, develop interests other than watching television and the gift of being curious about others and the world that existed beyond my home. These have all in turn helped me to be less lonely and to live a more vibrant life. How truly fortunate I was to grow up when I did. Happy Friday! Wishing you all a lovely weekend with friends and family and limited technology.