I could write a list for days about things that once were and no longer are, and that no one younger than my generation seems to know or care about
lol. So this will be somewhat tongue in cheek, and darkly humorous. Thus I sincerely hope no one takes it too seriously. But if I'm honest, the
sentiment is earnest, even if the choice of words is not. Here goes...
Not having to dial 1 and then the area code even for local numbers. It used to be that if you were dialing a phone number in your same area code, you
needed only to dial the 7 digit number itself. Today, almost everywhere (and if this isn't true where you are, it will be soon,) the fuller format is
required even locally.
Watching live concerts with your own eyes instead of through a phone camera. Yes, there was a time when you would look out across the darkened
audience and see twinkling lights in people's hands... and they were lighters! Rocking back and forth to the music. Appreciating and engaging with the
artist they had paid to see, possibly making a pilgrimage of sorts to do so. Today? Those lights are still there. But they're usually cell phones.
On a related note: people actually being observant of their surroundings and paying full attention to what they were doing, rather than constantly
looking down at their phones. Today people look at their phones while petting their animals (who look longingly and confusedly up at them for some
scant moment of eye contact which never comes,) driving, walking, hell even while sitting mere feet from one another on the same couch. (Yes, I've
seen it happen.)
The pursuit of ever better sonic fidelity, and the appreciation of full albums, complete with inserts. You see, long ago, we had phonograph records.
And while I still own many - and love - the sound and "feel" of records, records were replaced by eight tracks and cassettes, as these afforded
greater sonic clarity. Then these too were replaced by CDs, further improving audio quality and eliminating the tape "hiss." As time passed, greater
bit-depths and sample rates further enhanced sonic quality. This continued until, like so many things qualitatively damaged by it... the internet.
Digital distribution requires smaller file formats, which means compression. Mp3s (now mp4s) became the format of choice.
For the first time, the "new" media format was qualitatively inferior to the previous format, rather than an improvement. Yes, my young friends...
surprise... mp3s actually sound worse than lossless file formats in terms of absolute fidelity. You are sacrificing sound quality and stereo width and
dynamic range for convenience and price. In so doing, the art of the complete album - and the appreciation thereof - has also died an all but complete
death thanks to the 24 hour news cycle, and the obsession with singles and their much hyped releases. People used to sit in darkened rooms, a candle
or lamp illuminating album inserts, which would color and influence the interpretation of a full album listened to from start to finish. It was an
experience. It was a journey. No one has time or patience for that today.
The feeling of owning a complete product. Ever bought a video game lately? Holy crap. Hoop #1: Decide which retailer to buy it at, as each one has
different preorder bonuses. Hoop #2: Determine if said game requires the internet to function or not. Hoop #3: Enter your PIN code or other validation
process. Hoop #4: Create an account and sign in. Hoop #5: Buy the season pass so that you don't feel like you're missing out or paying even more for
the "optional" content the publisher decided to lock, er I mean, create! Hoop #6: Download the day one DLC that's already on the disc (or rather, the
10 kb code that unlocks it.) Video games are downright modular now.
And don't you dare complain about it. If you do, you're being "self-entitled." (Which is the actual term incidentally, not merely "entitled." Entitled
means you are entitled to something, whereas what publishers and those who defend them actually mean is that people are falsely thinking of themselves
as entitled. For that, you want to use "self-entitled." It's still erroneous, as paying money for a product ABSOLUTELY entitles you to criticize it
and its creator, but at least use the right terminology if you're going to make such assertions.) So I will also add to the list:
The normalcy of consumer advocacy and siding with consumers over corporations. Corporations have played a very clever trick: convincing their
customers to defend them and be partisans for their horribly anti-consumer business practices. Very clever indeed. Not fooling people like me, but
enough people that the tide has turned decidedly away from consumer protections and toward favoring just about anything convenient, cheap, and "fun."
Because people genuinely just don't care as long as those criteria are met.
I think that's enough for now. Here ends my lament. Yes, I know I'm just old and out of touch. Once you're over 30, companies no longer market things
to you. So, quite literally, these things aren't for me anyway today. And I don't want to come off as bitter. But it's still sad. It will happen to
you too, millennials. Just wait...
edit on 5/30/2015 by AceWombat04 because: Typos