How do you know you’re getting old? If you answered, “When your back goes out more than you do”, you are correct and a comedian, but that’s not the answer I was looking for at this time.
The answer I was looking for was, “When the contents of a history textbook at school are events that happened in your lifetime.”
Not as funny, I know.
I don’t mean to offend anyone by saying that. It’s going to happen to all of us. And we’ll all think, “If they consider my childhood as history, then maybe I am getting old.” I’m dreading the day. We’ll all commiserate together, don’t worry.
So then I start thinking of what could be in history textbooks, fifteen to twenty years from now, and how kids will react to the things they see.
Yes, I’m assuming they’ll still have textbooks, even if they are online.
Let’s go through some things.
The first thing that comes to mind are cell phones. I can just imagine a kid in 2030 looking at pictures of some of the first cell phones. The ones that are big and bulky with an antenna. An antenna! Kids are going to flip.
Speaking of flip, how will they react to learning about flip phones? I had a flip phone five years ago. FIVE. YEARS. AGO. Now, they are harder to find than Waldo. They too, had a nice little antenna.
I can see the hands shooting up in the classrooms now and the questions teachers will have to face.
You grew up with a flip phone? Are you 236 years old? Could they download apps on flip phones? And games? And the internet? How did texting work? Why was the screen so small? What do you mean there isn’t a two-way camera?
I can’t wait for a teacher to explain to them the early days of texting, sans keyboard. “You had to press the number two, three times, if you wanted to type the letter ‘C’.”
Mass confusion will ensue.
Cell phones will probably look very different fifteen years from now, so I can only assume that when they see pictures of an iPhone 5, they’re going to laugh and call it old-fashioned. They’re going to wonder how we possibly ever lived with a cell phone like this.
They’re going to mock us.
What about VHS tapes?
I know for a fact that many kids already don’t know what VHS tapes are. They’ve never heard of a VCR, either. Heck, some kids don’t even know that Toy Story 3 was the third film of the series (I’ve asked). You would think the three would give it away; nope.
Fast-forward fifteen years, put it in a history textbook that VHS tapes played videos, and kids are going to freak out.
Tape? I thought that was meant for wrapping presents. I didn’t know it could play videos, too. Why didn’t they just watch it on YouTube.
Ugh, get ready.
My generation was told all the television horror stories of yesteryear.
We had to stand up to change the channel. We only had about twenty channels. We had black and white images.
The television horror stories being told to the next generation will be:
We had three TVs in the house, but only one of them was high definition. We could only record one show at a time. Sometimes, there would be no description of the show when we pressed the info button.
Kids are going to be floored. So floored that they probably won’t believe it when they read that television shows weren’t always available on the Internet.
I’m telling you, the chapters on events that happen after the year 2000 are going to make jaws drop.
I wonder if there will be a chapter on social media. There has to be, right? There has to be a whole thing about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the other 178 social media sites that are controlling our lives. If there isn’t, we’re all wasting our time right now.
By the time kids are done the unit on social media, they’re going to wonder what a phone call is, or why people wasted their time with them.
You talked…on the phone…for an hour? Why didn’t you just tweet them? #140characters
Kids are going to be pretty lippy in the future, or maybe I’m just giving them an unfair voice with these italicized comments. We’ll find out soon enough.
Who are the prominent figures that are going to have their own one-page biography in the textbook?
Barack Obama? Probably.
Mark Zuckerberg? Maybe.
Oprah? She’ll get two pages.
Then you have all the people that got famous on YouTube, Twitter, or because they fell in a Vine video and made people laugh. Yup, that’s going to be a thing.
What about sports? Do history textbooks even talk about sports? Mine didn’t. Or, at least, not enough. Maybe that’s why I hated history.
I’m hoping, praying, and begging that there is at least a paragraph somewhere in the entire textbook that says the following:
“There was a time when children would play outside all day and only stop when one of three things happened. 1) It was time to eat. 2) A car was coming, at which point someone would yell “CAR!” and everyone would move to the side of the road in an orderly fashion. 3) It got too dark to see.”
If any publishers want to use that paragraph, let me know!
If we think that kids don’t go outside anymore now, then we’re going to have an entire generation of shut-ins in the future. Sunlight can’t compete with technology, I guess.
Remember walkmans? Of course you do. Those things were a hit! The best thing ever. Try telling a child, in fifteen years, what a walkman was and see if they believe you.
The world has changed so much in the last fifteen years.
Texting on a keyboard was the next biggest thing and now it’s just a daily habit full of intricate subliminal messages and etiquette.
Technology has brought us so far, so quickly, I can only imagine what high-tech thing is coming next. What’s the next big thing with a screen for us to stare at all day?
And don’t tell me it’s the Google Watch. Until the Google Watch can make an edible meal while sitting on my wrist, I won’t spend a dime on it. Someone better be jumping on that idea right now.
What’s next? Google Shoe? Google Shorts? Google Gloves? Google Goggles? GOOGLE GOGGLES. Google Finger? Google Tongue?
People need to stop creating things. History textbooks are going to be too thick in the future. Just sit in a lawn chair and watch the sun go down. Stop creating things that change the world and put money in your pocket. Relax for a minute, or year.
The world is going to be even weirder in the future, but children will read their history textbook and laugh at us and how “unfortunate” we were to grow up in an era with Netflix and cell phones with screens wider than our hand.
Yeah, we’re so unfortunate.