10 Things Today's Kids Won't Recognize
Back in the day, when we were young...
1. A VHS Cassette
For today's kids: VHS stands for Video Home System. The system used videocassettes tapes to record video and sound which could be watched on VCRs (Video Cassette Recorders). Basically, you could record videos on these cassettes using a video camera, or broadcast television using your VCR. This was our 'YouTube' or Netflix in the 90s: if you wanted to watch a movie or your wedding tape, you'd insert the cassette in the VCR, press play, and watch it on your TV.
2. Video Rental Stores
For today's kids: We've mentioned before that you could watch movies on your VCR, but to do that, you could either buy a cassette with the movie or rent it, which made more sense. Some people bought movie cassettes, but since you can only watch a movie once or twice, they were a waste of money and space. Therefore, the video rental stores were invented - they were like libraries, but for movies. (btw, a library is a place for renting books).
3. Audio Cassette Tapes
For today's kids: The same way we used videocassettes for videos, we had cassette tapes for sound only. We'd record audio on them, like music, for example. You could record the song yourself, using a cassette player and recorder. This machine had two slots - you'd put a music cassette in one slot, and the blank one in the other slot. You'd hit play on the first one, record on the second one, and so the song was copied from one to another. This is how mixtapes were made and how music was shared before CDs and mp3.
4. The Walkman
For today's kids: We've already mentioned the cassette player and recorder, which was a pretty big, not portable device. The Walkman was invented so people could listen to their cassettes while walking. It worked with batteries and headphones, so you could listen to your mixtape while walking or jogging.
5. The Discman
For today's kids: After the CDs became accessible to everyone, we no longer used cassette tapes or the walkman. The CD player replaced the cassette player, and the Discman replaced the walkman. This was before MP3s, and audio CDs could store up to 74 minutes of music, which meant about 23-26 songs.
6. Film canisters
For today's kids: Nowadays, we take pictures with our smartphones, upload them on the internet and that's that. In the past, we didn't even have mobile phones. To take pictures, we had cameras that recorded the images on film. The film comes in 12, 24, and 36 exposures per roll, meaning the maximum number of pictures you could take using one film. After you finished taking pictures, you had to take the film to a photo developing shop, leave it there, and come back to pick up the printed photos in a few days.
7. The Floppy Disk
For today's kids: You may know them as the save button, but in the past, the floppy disks were used to store files and transfer them from a device to another. Nowadays, you can easily transfer Gigabytes of data using a tiny USB flash drive, but back in the day, we used floppy disks which stored up to 1.44 MB.
8. Paper Maps
For today's kids: We haven't always had Google maps and GPS. In the past, we used maps that were printed on paper. We had city maps, country maps, regional maps, and yes, you'd take out the ones you needed and navigated by them until you reached your destination. We rarely got lost.
9. TV Test pattern
For today's kids: It wasn't uncommon to turn on your TV and see this pattern on the screen. Believe it or not, in the past, television didn't use to be a 24/7/365 affair. Sometimes, especially late at night, there was literally nothing on TV.Â When TV stations stopped broadcasting and when they were off the air, they displayed this image until programming resumed in the morning.
10. Public payphones
For today's kids: As mentioned before, back in the day we didn't have mobile phones. In the '90s most people had landline telephones at home and the office. But what if you were on the road, or didn't own a phone? Then, you'd use these public payphones which worked with coins, or cards.