Modern technology moves so fast that even gadgets from five or ten years ago are now seen as old fashioned, although they were cutting edge at the time. Take a look at this list of 10 outdated gadgets that your children won’t understand to see how many of these you owned and whether you still have any in the back of a cupboard.
This portable tape player used to be the only way to listen to music on the go, as long as you were armed with a couple of spare batteries and some flimsy foam earphones. The old fashioned Walkman played tapes that had no way to choose exactly which song you wanted to listen to, had to be rewound or turned over once one side had been listened to, and were frequently chewed up and bent by the mechanism. It’s a wonder we ever used these at all!
One of the most annoying things about Discmans were the way the CD would skip if you were walking fast or running, making this portable CD player very annoying to exercise with. CDs themselves may be an outdated gadget that your children won’t understand as many laptops now come without a CD drive as software and music can be downloaded online. The thought of having physical music instead of digital now seems quite old fashioned to many of us adults too.
Nintendo Game Boy
Compared to video games of today, the Nintendo Game Boy is incredibly simplistic and the fact that it’s screen had a strange grey-green colour will confuse your children into thinking this is a form of pre-historic entertainment. This outdated gadget has been replaced with consoles that play sophisticated and realistic games, nothing like the Gremlins and Mario games of the past.
With the age of computers and tablets where things are emailed and rarely printed out, the typewriter can be seen as one of the oldest word processors that is actually still available to buy today. This is an outdated gadget that your children won’t understand as they’ll find it hard to imagine a time before computers, mobiles and tablets. With its large keys and swinging arms, the typewriter was the height of convenience and professionalism when it first hit the market.
If the fact that floppy disks weren’t actually floppy isn’t enough to confuse your children, then the size and shape of them might be. The thin black floppy disks were used to transfer data from one computer to another, but they only held 1.44mb which meant trying to fit more than one or two photos on them was impossible. This is definitely one of the outdated gadgets that won’t be making a comeback.
Even if you still have a landline (which is less and less of us) your children are unlikely to understand this contraption. The idea of having to insert their finger and move the dial to each of the numbers they want to call will make your children wonder how we ever got on with this outdated gadget. As we have moved away from buttons and towards touchscreens, rotary telephones seem even more old fashioned.
Why on earth you would want a gadget that does simple sums and nothing else may baffle your children, but at their introduction the modern calculator was a genius gadget. These have evolved into scientific calculators that do many more algebraic equations, but even these are giving way to smartphones which can do all the calculations and more.
Film Compact Cameras
While film SLRS are still in use (mainly by older professional photographers and college students), film compact cameras are now a very outdated gadget. Not being able to see a digital viewfinder or view the photo after you’ve taken it will be difficult for your children to understand, plus seeing developed negatives is likely to confuse them even more. At the time, not knowing how the picture would come out before you took the film to be developed was part of the fun, but now it would just be more of an annoyance.
If you didn’t own a Nokia 3210 then you definitely knew lots of people that did as it was compact and affordable. This, like the Game Boy, is an outdated gadget likely to make your kids ask why there are no colours on the screen and the images are so simple. Released in 1999 and known for being practically indestructible, some modern smartphones could take a leaf out of the 3210’s book.
Non Flat Screens
It may be hard for your child to imagine that there was a time when no screens were flat. All TVs and computers had deep tube type screens that were big, inconvenient and difficult to fit anywhere. They will likely wonder what exactly is inside the back of the screen, and that question may even baffle the parents! Thankfully, these outdated screens have been replaced by flatscreens which not only offer a better picture but are much more convenient to place on a table or wall.