What Will My Child’s World Be Like?

July 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm 1 comment

While browsing through old family movies, I found this gem from my 10th birthday.  I was so excited to receive a piece of cutting-edge technology:  my very own Sony Walkman.  Well, it seemed cutting edge, but like me, the Walkman in 1989 was already 10 years old.  I was not, it turns out, an early adapter.  But I was enthusiastic about the device, and I used it for years before upgrading to a Discman.

The Walkman was pure magic to me.  I could listen to Weird Al’s “Dare to be Stupid” repeatedly, without subjecting my family to it.  It ate through batteries like nobody’s business, but I had a charger, so at least I didn’t have to buy new batteries every time we went on a car trip.

If you asked my 10-year-old self what improvements I thought would be made in personal stereo players over the next 20 years, I probably would have wished for longer battery life, tapes that held more than one album, and tapes that rewound faster.  I would have requested packaging that was easy to open, so you wouldn’t need a hacksaw to get through the thick plastic case around the cassette.

I never would have imagined that we would all be walking around with devices smaller than a pack of cards (or even a piece of bazooka gum!) that could store thousands of digital songs.  I never would have thought there would be music stores attached to your computer that could sell you any song you could think of instantly and cheaply, without dealing with a physical object, like a cassette tape.  I read a lot of sci-fi, but the idea of an MP3 player would have struck me as pure fantasy, like a house that talks to you when you walk in the door.

As a parent, it gets me thinking about what the world will look like for my little guy.  What will be the big, exciting gift at his tenth birthday party?  Somehow, I don’t think it will be a piece of technology that was invented last year.  It will probably be something we can barely imagine.  A 3-D printer that prints candy?  A genome-sequencing kit?  An indestructible touchscreen tablet made just for kids?

Whatever the big gift is, you can bet I’ll be there, watching him open the instant-biodegradable wrapping paper, filming it all with my corneal implant 3-D camera.




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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Olivia PP  |  July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    that video is hilarious – of course you got weird al as one of your first cds! it all makes sense now! 🙂


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