I'm only 26, and Funnyordie's list of nostalgic activities today's kids will never experience made me feel old, but also glad I got to experience pay phones and dying of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. Here's my own list of things today’s kids will never know:
Calling your crush and hanging up because you're so nervous. Before caller ID, that might have been okay, but now it's social suicide. Or even...
Calling your crush's house and having to talk to his mom! Kids are exchanging cell phone numbers now, not land line numbers. (Which makes screening callers and eavesdropping on them much more difficult.)
Library card catalogues. Or maybe even libraries in general. Kids can do research on their computers. In fact, if they're “going to the library” too much, you might get suspicious.
Mickey Mouse. I love Disney World, but every time I am there, I wonder if the kids running around with mouse ears on know who Mickey really is, or who any of his friends are. The Disney Channel doesn't really show Disney classics like Chip n' Dale, Silly Symphonies, or Goofy's "How to" shorts anymore.
DOS. Kids will never have to type code into a cryptic system (in Courier font, to top it all off!)
Encyclopedias and dictionaries. If your kid's teacher made him copy a page of the dictionary as punishment, would anyone even be able to find one? I'm a writer and I don't even have access to hard copies of encyclopedias or dictionaries.
CD Collections. I know the Funnyordie list referred to mix tapes, but kids these days probably won't even be buying CDs. It's rare to even have the pleasure of listening to an album the whole way through, which completely alters their appreciation for music. Remember hauling around your Caselogic CD case? Remember how you'd alphabetize your collection and collect all the CD linings? You might as well put that stuff in a museum now.
Taping your favorite shows on VHS. Is it a safe environment for me to admit I still don't DVR? But everyone else does. Remember when taping was a show was a process? Half the time it wouldn’t work, and sometimes you had to tape hours before hand, so you'd have to fast forward through all that unwanted footage. (Including commercials.)
Developing film. Gone are the days of getting back your pictures, only to find out that 22 of them were of your thumb or that the first two of them were actually taken eight years ago. Kids are used to instant satisfaction when it comes to taking and enjoying pictures, not to mention tagging them and sharing them on Facebook. Hey, I'm spoiled, too. If somebody takes pictures at a party and they aren't uploaded the next week, I start wondering why on earth that person has a camera in the first place.
Calling a radio to request a song. (See also: Holding your tape player up to the radio so you record it. To add that song to your mix tape. Oh man.) I used to call up the college radio station in my town, get the DJ on the phone, and say "What's the song that goes like this..." and actually sing into the phone. Then I'd sit through hours of air time for my request, the might never get played in the first place. That seems like an awful lot of work now. We can instantly download tunes. And if you don't know who sings a song you've heard, you can type the lyrics to Google or use the Shazam app on your iPhone. (I think that app, by the way, would have saved me a whole week of my life back in 2000 when I was obsessed with the song "Lemonade" but had no idea who sang it. It's Zero Parade, by the way.)
Getting lost. You can breathe a sigh of relief: your kids will probably never get lost. That's less stress for them (and you), but it also takes away their chance for adventure. Even if they don’t have a smart phone (poor, deprived things!) they'll most likely have a cell phone, which means they'll be calling you. Stand by, mom.
Music on MTV. Your kids probably assume MTV was GTL all the time and have no idea what that M used to stand for, but you can remind them it used to be how we heard about new artists. Even Carson Daly's TRL seems antiquated now. When was the last time you even saw a music video on TV?
What important nostalgic things will your kids miss out on?