We’ve all thought it, some of us have said it. “Kids these days. Always glued to their smartphones. Would they not go out and enjoy the fresh air?!”. It’s true, I mean kids as young as 8 are already queuing up for the iPhone 6 and sure it’s not even available for purchase in Ireland until October. This is not a new sensation. In fact, kids have been glued to their electronics since the late 70’s/early 80s. In line with The Mod’s Blog Posting Structure, today is Throwback Thursday and I’m going to let you in on the electronics I was glued to as a child.
One toy that stands out as revolutionary from the 80’s is the Speak and Spell. Actually developed in 1978, this vintage baby was handed down to me and my brother by our older siblings. My inner hipster knew it was retro, but I always had an errie feeling about it. Probably due to the fact that at that point the batteries had died down and it sounded a little bit like it was calling for a ransom as opposed teaching me anything... “if you want to learn I’m going to need 2 million dollars of unmarked bills....”
I soon found a new obsession. The Tamagotchi. I was seriously glued to this thing, I loved it. Having a little electronic pet, feeding it, then overfeeding it until it died and then came alive again. I remember going to a funeral with my mother and when we arrived home she found me crying. She tried to comfort me assuming I was disturbed by the funeral procession only to soon realise I was crying because I’d lost my Tamagotchi at the graveyard.
When I grew out of that phase, I moved on to something more modern and American influenced. Oh how very 7th Heaven indeed was the Dream Phone. Retrospectively, it was sort of demeaning to young woman, the concept of calling lots of boy’s numbers for clues until you guessed who fancied you. Not to mention some of the guys were, for want of better word, real jerks! One’s guy’s clue was, “I know who it is but I’m not telling Haw Haw!”, what a douche. Nonetheless, I loved it, “Mom, Dad, please don’t bother me I’ll be on the phone.”
So next time I see my nieces or nephews glued to the phone, I won’t say “amach as an bhealach”, as my mother used to say to me, because now I know the smartphone is really just the the Tamagotchi of today.