I got my first smart phone a couple months before my oldest was born, which means he has never known life without this multifunctional tool. My children take for granted that this little rectangle their mom loves so much is home to a camera, a photo album, a map, their grandparents, a messaging center, a gaming system, a flashlight, a music player, a toy catalogue, and much more all in one.
This irks me, so I’ve started collecting and compiling a list of things I want to collect to teach my kids about all the single-function gadgets I thought were so cool when I was a kid. For them but also for me because I still happen to think these things are pretty fun :).
So without further ado, here is Part 1 of Old Tech I Want My Kids to Know About:
1. Non-digital Photography
One day I think it would be really cool to develop film in an actual dark room, to show my little techies that photography has not always been so instant but since I’ve never actually done that myself, this old school Polaroid camera shall do. Now I realize this is still “instant photography”, but there is no screen to look at the pics right away, AND the photos actually take around 10 minutes to fully develop, AND (and this is the big ones) the film costs around $3-4 per photo- there will be no taking 300 selfies of your nostril with this bad boy.
Addison hunted this camera down for me for Christmas and it seems to be in working order but I’m just waiting until I have an awesome photo shoot idea to test it out because given the cost of the film each picture kind of feels like an investment! I can’t wait to share the results though 🙂 Not sure how I’ll do that though- I guess scan the photos into the computer? ORRRR I could snap a pic of the photos with my iPhone. Oh the irony. (I think. Is that irony? Or is it meta? I can never be quite sure).
2. A Clock-Radio
It’s a clock, it’s a radio. Two functions, that’s it. (incidentally, it’s actually very difficult to find JUST a radio). I love listening to the radio, the CBC in particular. I like that you just turn it on and you get what you get. There’s something sweet about tuning into the same live programming as people across the country, it’s like the original social media. I had not been able to tune into my favorite radio show for a while because the streaming feature on my phone app isn’t streaming properly, so RADIO was on my Christmas list this year. Addison hunted down not one but two old-school clock radios for me so we tuned in many a day over the holidays. I find that radio buzz quite comforting actually, and I hope my kids will come to think so too.
Single function AND solar powered. I used to love playing with these when I was little. I would type in all sorts of imaginary calculations. The buttons are so much more satisfying to press than a touch screen. And what I really love about them is that besides spelling a couple cheeky words, you really can’t get into much trouble. No phone calls to China, no accidental purchases, etc.
4. Acoustic Piano
I will always prefer an acoustic piano over an electric- no matter how weighted the keys or authentic the sound. There is something about a real piano that makes a house feel more like a home.
When I teach piano lessons I love opening up the piano at some point to show my student how it works. It looks intricate and complicated but what it comes down to is just a hammer hitting a string. It’s simple and it makes sense to me, which is probably the same reason I gravitate to all low tech stuff.
That ends part 1. I will add more to the list as I build my collection 🙂
What would you add to the list? What low-tech or old tech gadget would you love to share with your kids?