Today, the typical eight- to 18-year-old in the US lives in a household equipped with three TV sets, three video players, three radios, three hand-held music devices, two video game consoles, and a personal computer. (via The Future of Children).
Our house doesn’t have any eight to 18 year-old’s yet, but a six- and seven-year old are pretty close. I started counting…three TVs…check. Three video players…does this mean VHS and DVD? If so…check. Three radios…we have four. Three hand-held music devices…we have two. Two video game consoles…I knew we’d be behind on this one. We just got a Wii this Christmas, and that’s the only game system we have. And computers? We have three: two desktop and one laptop.
I thought back to when I was the typical eight- to 18-year-old.
The year was 1980. We had one television, sans remote and only four channels. By the time I graduated in 1991, we had two, both with remotes and cable. One was a “big screen” which took up a lot of floor space in the basement.
Radio? Three, two were “boomboxes.” Mine even had dual cassette players.
Video players? We had a Beta video recorder/player that I used to record music videos on MTV (when they still played videos) mostly of Michael Jackson. I was a huge fan, as you can read here. If you remember, VHS became more popular and it was hard to find movies to rent in Beta format.
Handheld music devices? Does a Walkman count?
Computer? We got a computer sometime in the 1980s, I think, with a dot matrix printer. Remember 5 1/4 floppy disks that actually were “floppy”? It could hold 140K! And then the small but mighty 3.5″ disks were introduced and could hold 1 MB! A quick online search shows in the 1980s, a new IBM personal computer would have cost between $999-$1999 and was powered by the Intel 8088 microprocessor, with either 512K or 1 megabyte of memory. As for storage? “Consumers could choose initial models with either a 1.44 MB diskette drive or diskette drive plus 30 MB hard disk. The system unit also included a built-in 2400-bits-per-second modem.”
Wow. All that for $1,000.
Internet? We did have it before I graduated from high school in 1991. Listen to this YouTube video (yes, listen).
Technology moves fast. What will the average eight to 18 year old have in 20 years?