Then/Now

THEN

You asked for directions.

NOW

You ask for the address.

THEN

You talked on the phone.

NOW

You text on the phone.

THEN

If you were lucky, your parents bought you your own extension when you were sixteen, possibly a Princess phone!

NOW

You get your own phone with its own line when you’re ten. Maybe even younger!

THEN

You went home to check your e-mail.

NOW

E-mail is too slow, you’re in constant touch with your friends via text and instant messaging programs wherever you go.

THEN

You got a busy signal.

NOW

If someone is not easily reachable you think something bad happened to them.

THEN

Movies played for months, if you missed them, they were gone forever.

NOW

You’re angry when every movie ever made is not available for Netflix streaming.

THEN

You watched old movies on HBO.

NOW

You watch original programming on HBO, which is better than the movies in the theatre.

THEN

You discussed the merits of movies, they drove the culture.

NOW

You discuss the merits of television shows, they drive the culture.

THEN

Successful musicians thought they were rich, despite frequently blowing all their income on drugs.

NOW

Musicians are not satisfied with their incomes, they’re always comparing themselves to others up the food chain, trying to imitate them by investing in tech startups.

THEN

People sang about their pain.

NOW

People sing about how they’re winners and are better than you.

THEN

You begged your parents for a transistor.

NOW

You beg your parents for a phone.

THEN

You bought it because it said Sony.

NOW

You buy it because it says Samsung.

THEN

People sat around in circles singing the songs of the day.

NOW

You can’t even sing the hits.

THEN

Artists were on top of the food chain, they recorded their albums in private and delivered them to the label, finished.

NOW

Executives are on top of the food chain, they constantly meddle in the artistic process, execs believe that without them, there’d be no good music.

THEN

Your parents were on a need to know basis, and they didn’t.

NOW

You tell your parents everything, even discussing the intricacies of your love life.

THEN

You turned sixteen and started working to save money for a car.

NOW

You turn sixteen and if your parents don’t buy you a car you sulk and tell your friends they’re mean.

THEN

If someone told you they were going to be on television, you stayed home and watched.

NOW

Everybody’s been on television, it’s no big deal, and if you truly need to be famous, you make a YouTube clip and spam everybody you know, telling them to watch it.

THEN

The record labels screwed the artists.

NOW

The record labels screw the artists.

THEN

You complained wireless was too slow.

NOW

LTE is faster than many people’s home broadband.

THEN

Old people were fat and young people were skinny.

NOW

Young people are fat and old people are skinny, most especially the educated class.

THEN

You graduated from college and took a year or two off, to travel, to find out who you were.

NOW

There’s no time to waste, you oftentimes begin your career while you’re still in college.

THEN

People believed the American Dream was true, that they could make it from the bottom to the top via smarts and hard work.

NOW

People still believe the American Dream is true, even though the game is rigged against them and social mobility is more possible in Europe.

THEN

You admired politicians.

NOW

Who’d want to be President?

THEN

The Democrats fought for the people.

NOW

The Democrats fight for the corporations.

THEN

The Republicans were the party of smart people.

NOW

The Republicans are the party of dumb people.

THEN

Musicians said no to corporations.

NOW

Musicians say yes to corporations.

THEN

Rock drove the culture.

NOW

No type of music drives the culture.

THEN

We practiced our instruments to become rock stars.

NOW

We practice our social networking skills to become rock stars.

THEN

Your dream was to buy a powerful desktop computer.

NOW

Your dream is to buy a tablet.

THEN

Your computer was obsolete when you drove home from the store.

NOW

You can easily use a six or seven year old computer.

THEN

You never wanted the initial iteration.

NOW

If it’s not perfect from the get-go, you’re stunned.

THEN

Cars had roll-up windows and no a/c.

NOW

All cars have electric windows and a/c.

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