Short Stories - non fiction

Inventions since 1970 that have had a major impact 

When I was a little kid back in 1970, my friend Kathleen Griffin and I were sitting watching her colour TV. She was the only person that I knew that had a colour TV. I remember her saying “I can’t wait until I am old so I can look back at everything that’s been invented.” 

I didn’t really think that there was much left to be invented. But then again, I was only 8 years old. I was just happy that my friend had a colour TV.

So now I am middle aged and I can look back at things that didn’t exist when I was 8 years old. For example, television has come a long way. The VCR was a big deal when it came along, and then the PVR totally blew the VCR out of the water. However, just when I thought the inventors were done, smart TVs came along, and Netflix! 

When I was 8, it was a big deal to own a tape recorder. However, when I was 17, I can remember my roommate at Acadia University describing a fellow student wearing an unknown device around campus. She said “he has a box strapped to his chest, and he is listening to it.” I immediately jumped to the conclusion that he was wearing a heart monitor. However, as it turns out, he was wearing a Sony Walkman. 

Now, with an i-Phone and i-Tunes, there is no limit to the music that you have access to. You can play downloaded music in your car, or on a blue tooth speaker. It’s awesome! Kathleen Griffin would be so impressed!

Looking back to that time, we didn’t have a microwave. And I can’t remember anyone having a gas BBQ. Even a basic telephone was not cordless, that would be unheard of. And when we eventually got cable TV, our remote control was not cordless either. The only good thing about that was that the remote never went missing.

Of course computers, the internet, and cell phones all came along since that conversation between two 8 year olds. Not to mention self driving cars. I recall a conversation with a classmate back in the early eighties, she was telling me about a word processor that she used to type up an essay “you type the words and you see them on a screen” she said. I thought that was pretty useless “how does the teacher get to see your essay?” I asked. “You print the essay after it’s written” she said. “How? Do you attach it to a typewriter?” I asked. I thought this was a lot of bother, why would you go to all of that trouble when you could just use a typewriter? Clearly I was not a visionary.

It makes me wonder what else will be invented in the years to come. What comes to mind when you think of inventions that have impacted your life?


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