Cell phones: I knew a couple of people who had them earlier, but I never really saw many cell phones until the late 1990’s. They were more popular in South Africa than they were in the United States. I didn’t really see any reason to be that reachable.
I finally got one (a Kyocera flip phone, pay as you go with Virgin Mobile) in 2007, when I bought my condo. It made moving easier. For a long time, my major use of the cell phone was calling Verizon when my land line was screwed up. (They had messed up hooking up my FIOS and not disconnected a copper wire, so I had all these interference issues until I persuaded them to come out and they fixed it in about 35 seconds.) I still have that pay-as-you-go flip phone.
I do have an iphone from work, which my boss insisted on when I took my current job. I have mixed emotions about it.
Television / video: We did not have cable when I was young. I don’t think cable even existed then. Because I grew up in a suburb of New York, we had a good variety of channels. My father watched the downstairs television and mostly watched major sports. My mother watched the upstairs television and favored game shows, sitcoms, and junk sports (bowling, golf, demolition derby). I watched baseball games and sitcoms.
I should probably mention that we got color TV about when I was 10 or 11. One of our neighbors had color sooner and we used to go across the street to their house specifically to watch Lost in Space.
My parents got a VCR when I was in college. I got one some years later – maybe when I started working? I know that during part of the time I lived in L.A. I rented videos a lot. I still have that VCR and should really see if it still works.
As for DVDs, I’ve never had a dedicated DVD player, but I’ve watched lots of them on a laptop. I still own a fair number of them.
Music: My parents bought LPs. My father brought home a new record – usually a Broadway cast recording or a comedy record – and we’d all listen to it. He graduated from a portable record player, which my brother and I then took over, to what was called a hi-fi.
We also had a reel-to-reel tape recorder. We’d gather around it in the evening and my brother and I would play piano, my Mom would play guitar, and we’d all sing, with my Dad acting as emcee. My grandfather used it a lot, too. But we moved on to cassette recorders. I think my brother and I got our own about when he was getting ready for his bar mitzvah. We had transistor radios, too, and would tape lots of songs off the radio.
I bought a lot of cassette tapes in college and still have many. I also still have a cassette player in my car, because my car is ancient (as am I). I never went in for 8-track tapes, though I am not sure why not. I did eventually migrate to CDs, though I still lave LPs and cassettes and plans to digitize them. I listen to CDs a lot on my stereo, when I’m home. I do also listen to a lot of stuff on youtube and some on itunes. And I listen to either pop music or oldies on the car radio, depending on where I am.
Things with Keyboards: I had an Olivetti portable typewriter I think I got for college. I’d used my mother’s heavier typewriter before that. I never took typing in school, but Mom taught me to type. Dad told me not to let people know I could type or they’d expect me to. I used that typewriter through college and probably part of grad school, though I used computers more in grad school
I had access to computers at school and work, but didn’t get one at home until the late 1980’s. I think it was an IBM 286. I later decided macbooks were less hassle and am on my third of those.
As for printers, I had a dot matrix one first.
Internet: I first got email around 1986 or so. I had already gotten on the internet when a college friend introduced me to usenet and got an account on the notorious gryphon.com, which Greg Laskin started to prove that he could put a PC on the net. (There was a whole big story about us being a company called Trailing Edge Technologies, which was founded to create an aircraft wing without a trailing edge. Since that is impossible, we spent all our time posting to the net. The gryphraff accounted for an astonishing percentage of usenet traffic.)
I started writing Areas of Unrest in 1997, when I was getting ready for my midlife crisis trip (overlanding in Africa). I started using Livejournal in 2007 and Dreamwidth in 2011, I think. I was using Dreamwidth only for backup until the whole crisis over the LJ terms of service pushed a lot of people away. Now, I write stuff on DW and let it cross-post to LJ.
I started using Facebook in 2009. I have never had a twitter account, as I don’t see much point to it. I do look at a few things on twitter from time to time – mostly weather forecasts and locations of food trucks.
I don’t use streaming media much (see above, under music). Well, that isn’t quite true as I do watch movies and TV on Amazon Prime. And I read things on paper.
Summary: I am old and not really an early adapter.
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