Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I am sitting in my car on a bumper-to-bumper road, on my way to work, listening to the local station trying to tell me how the roads are all clear. Yeah, right. Look at those darned cameras, now, you. Just as I am about to switch to my friend of misery, I hear an interesting tid-bit. That the class of 2013 was born in 19-fricking-91.

Let’s do the math.

In 2013, when the class graduates, Chip himself will be only 10 years away from being a freshman. Which is how long I have been living in this country and have very little recollection of how the decade whizzed past.


When these kids were barely out of their babyhoods, I was a freshman myself. In the time, these babies cut their teeth, learnt to walk, talk, read, write, do math (or not) , date and apply for college and basically grow 5ft at least, I have graduated, and post-graduated, met a guy of my dreams, married, got a job, bought a house and spawned.

Now that I think about it that way, it makes me feel a wee bit better. Also makes it easier to ignore the fact that I have also grayed, put on 30lbs (and that’s all I am really going to admit to) and wrinkled like a shirt that was not removed from the dryer promptly. I am a bonafide auntie now.

So, for the class of 2013, the following has always been their life.

  1. Salsa has always outsold ketchup
  2. Text has always been hyper
  3. They never had to “shake down” an oral thermometer
  4. European Union has always existed
  5. Cable TV has always offered phone service and vice versa
  6. There have always been flat screen TVs
  7. Smoking has been uncool
  8. There has always been a computer in the Oval office
  9. Britney Spears has been always heard on classic rock stations.
(See the complete list here)

For my generation, living in India,
  1. Internet was unheard of,
  2. PCs were rare, we worked using “dumb terminals” in colleges
  3. W used Pine for email.
  4. Sundays meant Ramayan or Mahabharat or Star Trek re-runs on Doordarshan
  5. MTV was the new fangled “western influence out to corrupt young minds”.
  6. Floppy disks (the 5 and ¼ inch) ones were the rage.
  7. USB was unheard of.
  8. CDs were criminally expensive and tape was the way to go. There was no random access and you had to change sides. Chip, has seen my old tapes and thinks they are “funny” and wonders what their use is. When I tell him they play music, he looks for a button on the cassette, a la ipod.

For Chip, the idea that someone does not own a cellphone or an ipod is unthinkable. Everything can be found “online”. And “online” is a button away with the iphone. So are games, music, photos and videos. CDs are so 20th century. Tapes can be found in museums. You never print directions, you just punch the address into the GPS. If you don’t know something, you don’t look it up in a book, you ask your mom to just google.

Oh, Chip! How will the world change when you go into your Freshman year? How, indeed?


Sands said...

this is so true. I see it each day with my kids. My daughter will start college in 6 years and I feel like a relic most times with the kids and what they are exposed to today :)

GettingThereNow said...

Great post! I feel this often too. For that matter, I feel old often too :P

Preethi said...

haha very well written.. Cheeky is the same too.. and he hasn't seen cassettes.. I am sure he will have a laugh when he does.. I have some stored away in chennai.. must show him!!

K 3 said...

On our first plane ride to San Diego, my dad commented on how his first plane journey was when he was in his mid-20s while his own grandson took his first flight when he was only 6 months old!

Times do change rather quickly.

DotThoughts said...

Sand: growing up, a land line was a luxury!!

gtn: cee, come here and join the dino gang :)

preethi: cheeky's reaction to tapes - that will make for an awesome post :)

k3: how, how true!

Hurricane C said...

I was thinking on those lines the other day when I realized they will never use a rotary telephone and are sure to think its funny!

Penguin said...

This is so true! But some things never change. Like when I go back to college, the teachers still have the same old complaints - the students don't pay attention, they wear revealing clothes... That's when I wonder if anything changes at all!

GettingThereNow said...

Dot: I'll be hanging out with the dinos' grandmas :P

Penguin: One thing does change - the definition of "revealing". What was considered revealing in our times is considered "boring" today :P

noon said...

Nice post Dottie. B told KB that he would "show" him a "cassette" one of these days when he digs them out of my box in the garage! :) I still can't believe they have never seen one! We still play CDS though! And google and amazon - Hari thinks I can tell him everything if I look on and what ever he wants he says "Mamma, can you order it on UPS uncle will bring it to me". Like it's our dear uncle who will give it for free! :)

PG said...

a good comparison! and yes for my son every answer can be found on google. :D Though, I am purposefully trying to use dictionaries atleast, before I press the button to switch on the computer, whenever he wants to know aout something in English.

Mimi said...

Very nicely written. I have been silently following your blog... really like it! I so agree with your list... I feel ancient. I have kept old "tapes" just to show my little one :-) I don't think any of these play any more.

Kowsalya Subramanian said...

Great Post and I feel it many times. Can so relate to googling when you are in doubt. Cassettes are still used prevalently in India and recently used that explain my daughter how random access and sequential access work :)

DotThoughts said...

Hurricane C: Rotary phone!! those were the days huh..unhurried.

Penguin: the more the things change, the more they reamin the same :)

GTN: yeah, right. Dino ki dadi :)

noon: lol@ hari. seriouly, Chip ahd no idea we had to pay when we ordered things online. I wish!

PG: that's ok.. this generation will grow up with google at their beck and call :)

Mimi: hey! welcome and thanks. ancient is right, yeah?

Kow: Your daughter is indeed very lucky to ahve a mom who explains random and srquential access to her!

Sue said...

Confession: I automatically shake the digital thermometer when I'm done. :)

Great post, hon.

GettingThereNow said...

LOL @ Sue!

Sue said...

Cee, as if you don't. You don't? Really? I bet you do, too. :P

GettingThereNow said...

LOL! No I don't. I really don't. I stopped doing it 5 years ago :D (I am not saying I never did :P)

Nagesh.MVS said...

THis is true.

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Anonymous said...

hey !! i have never thought of it that way!! especially because i am born in the year 1991 (eactly)!! but will i feel the same way 10 years down the line??