Pick a point of reference
My friend and colleague, Tina Noel (@tinanoelPR), sent me a great link today: The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014. This annual list was first published in 1998. It ”was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation.” (My favorites are a tie between #58, #12 and #55.)
This be-careful-what-you-reference thing works both ways, you know. So for all you 18-year-olds out there – not to mention you 20-something professionals – here is my Middle-aged Mindset List from the Class of 1990.
In 1990, the year I graduated from Miami of Ohio, …
1. There were no laptops in our dorm rooms.
2. All the computers were in the dorm rooms.
3. And the printer paper was the continuous feed kind.
4. We had no internet access (unless you were a professor or a hacker).
5. That means no Google, no Yahoo, no Bing. Definitely no Facebook, Twitter or Buzz.
6. There was, however, AOL. And we all said “You’ve Got Mail.” All the time. Seriously.
7. They were testing SMS messaging in the UK, but no one on campus had heard of it.
8. Why? No cell phones.
9. There wasn’t even “free nights and weekends” on our home phones.
10. Plus phones had cords, so we had to talk in the kitchen in front of our parents.
11. Calling someone meant more busy signals than call waiting beeps. And voice mail required a machine.
12. We wrote more letters. (Thank goodness stamps only cost $0.29.)
13. We sent pictures instead of videos. Of course, we couldn’t see how we looked in photos until we developed the film.
14. We read books that we held in our hands. We held our newspapers that way too.
15. There was no ITunes. Instead we made mixed tapes from our records and cassettes.
16. On TV, we only had an average of 47 channels to choose from.
17. Thank goodness one of them was HBO (launched in 1982). But it played movies, not original shows.
18. We had our MTV. Of course, that means we also had the Spice Girls, Milli Vanilli and Vanilla Ice.
19. There was no Wii or XBox either. We had Atari and Nintendo but only in 64 bit.
20. Thankfully, there was no reality TV.
One other thing, we thought we were cool. We still do.
What is your point of reference? Does the Class of 2014 make you feel old or feel wise?