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10 Technological Marvels from the 20th Century that Today's Kids Don't Know What to Do With

Vintage old telephone on wood table with sun light ,Vintage tone

Technology has made our lives so much easier, hasn’t it? We don’t have to worry about getting lost or not having a way to get in touch with loved ones in an emergency. We can store data for access from anywhere and can acquire knowledge and information in an instant.

Those of us who grew up in the last half of the 20th century know that we haven’t always been so spoiled. In fact, plenty of technology that we grew up with has become obsolete and foreign to younger generations.

10. Atlases and printed directions

These days, there’s precious little excuse for getting lost. Our cellphones – and in many cases our cars – give us access to directions just about anywhere we need to go. But that wasn’t always the case, and we had to rely on printed maps.

Now, I’ll admit that I love looking at maps (on paper or on Google Maps), and up until not long ago I still kept an atlas in my car. There was a time when an atlas or map was a necessity, and the joke about one spouse or another being unable to read maps rang true.

Then came the internet, and we could look up directions on our computer and print them out. But if you were driving around by yourself and needed to look at your printed directions, it could get dangerous, not to mention easy to miss a turn.

The notion of not having our directions announced to us from a phone or other device sounds quaint nowadays. You have to admit that it’s nice that we’re past those days when we needed to look at a map or printed directions to know where we were going.

9. Dial-up internet

Oh, the days of dial-up. Who didn’t love waiting for the modem to connect to the web, listening to the dialing and data screaming? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Dial-up wasn’t the most reliable way of getting online by any stretch of the imagination. The line could be busy, or someone could pick up the phone to make a call, knocking you off the service. Speeds were slow, and there was no guarantee a page would load at all.

But dial-up was the introduction to the internet for a generation of people. Those AOL and Compuserve disks were all over the place, promising a certain number of hours of free internet before charging the customer.

Then high-speed internet invaded the country, and I bet too few of us realize just how spoiled we are to be able to access the internet at this kind of speed. I’m sure none of us want to go back in time to remember.