Technology advances and improves faster than we can adapt to the changes. Progress has always left some people in the dust, but the tempo has increased with the dawn of the Digital Age. That means that different generations are finding less and less in common with each other than before.
If you thought that the differences between millennials (aka Generation Y) and members of Gen Z were minor, think again. Nowhere are those generation differences more obvious than when members of the older generation show kids the tech that they used when they were small, only to be met with utter disbelief.
Bored Panda has collected some of the best examples when kids today couldn’t understand the technology the millennial generation grew up with. And, boy, do we feel old looking at these childhood memories! If you’d like to feel ancient and get a burst of nostalgia for the good old days, scroll down. Remember to upvote your faves or the ones that gave you the most 90s nostalgia and share this list with your friends (especially those whose birthdays are soon approaching).
This is a diskette, aka a floppy disc.
It stores information.
This is a cassette tape.
You can store music on it.
It was first developed in 1963, not the American Civil War which was fought between 1861 and 1865.
Just to make sure that everyone’s more or less on the same page, Gen Y (millennials) refers to people born in the early 1980s and mid-1990s. In short, it’s safe to say that millennials were born sometime between 1981 and 1996, though different researchers use different definitions.
Meanwhile, members of Gen Z are considered to be those born from 1997 until the early 2010s and who grew up with digital technology and are comfortable using both the internet and social media.
This is a fascinating device from a bygone era that lets you manually roll down the car window.
It takes some getting used to.
You have to put your hand on the handle.
And then turn the handle to open the window.
The best part is, if you turn it the other way, the window closes.
Much wow. Such mystery.
Aside from tech and upbringing, what are the ways that the two generations differ? According to Amber Feitsma on Compan Young, Generation Z is far more pragmatic than Gen Y because of higher economic instability. Gen Z prioritizes security and stability (but, ironically, prefers experiences over material possessions which sounds counterintuitive).
And while the new generation has grown up surrounded by digital technology, it still values face-to-face interaction and tech that makes communication easy, simple, and convenient.
Calls, text messages, and mobile internet all used to cost more money than today because cellphones were considered a luxury item, while service providers incurred greater costs than nowadays.
Gen Z also blurs the lines between different devices, work, and leisure: editing documents on laptops at work, only to change a few things on the bus home (or add a flourish or two using their smart fridge while getting a midnight snack). To sum up, it’s a generation that tries to synthesize contradicting and contrasting ideas into a logical whole.
Do you know what I’m looking forward to? Seeing how Generation Z will compare to Generation Alpha—those born from the early 2010s (and those who’ll join us on Planet Earth from the mid-2020s). Imagine the articles showing Gen A’s reactions to Gen Z’s tech. I can’t wait.
Cellphones could store very limited amounts of data.
While it seems funny that your phone couldn't make any more space for extra messages, consider how quickly photos and videos fill up your brand new smartphone.
This is a VHS tape.
You can store movies and video recordings on it.
This is an overhead projector.
It projects things over your head.
This is a public payphone.
You used it to call people.
This is an iPod.
It plays music.
The very first iPod came out in 2001, not 1955.
The iPod pictured appears to be an iPod Nano, the first of which were released in 2006.
I still don't know how to burn CDs and I'm not a member of Gen Z.
On a theoretical level, it's clear that you copy information that's on your PC onto a disc. On a practical level, I end up messing up the disc and accidentally deleting the data I meant to copy over from the computer.
This is a stereo, aka a boombox.
You use it to play music and be popular.
This is a beeper, also known as a pager.
It can be used to transmit short messages or, in some cases, voice recordings.