Life

Texts between young man and mom show young people have no clue about life before the internet

October 27th, 2020

For the most part, computers that connected directly to terminals didn’t exist until the mid-1950s. Over time, technology advanced dramatically, leading to what we all know today as the internet. Currently, more than 4.5 billion people access the internet on any given day. Part of the technological evolution was texting, which first occurred on December 3, 1992. Like online usage, messaging exploded.

Clueless

But here’s the interesting thing. The younger generation, which lives for the internet and text messaging has no idea what life was like before these existed. Often referred to as “Zoomers,” these individuals probably couldn’t survive without the internet and their smartphones.

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Unsplash/Thought Catalog Source: Unsplash/Thought Catalog

A mother and son experience

As the mother of a 21-year-old son, Kathy Torrence, age 52, discovered that he was one of them…a Zoomer. Something unique was about to happen when she received a text from him one day. It read, “How did any of college work before email?” What started as a simple question turned into something quite interesting.

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

A bright idea

That message got Kathy to thinking that perhaps she could enlighten him. So, they began a back and forth messaging conversation that quickly turned hysterical. But the best part, they both learned something valuable. Things moved full-speed ahead after she gave him a response.

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

He had another question

Her answer prompted him to ask yet another question. Okay, so people had to walk to the classroom door. But what did that entail? Did they have to get up early? Her one-word response kept the conversation going.

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

Bulletin board?

Now, the questions were getting more detailed. In reading the text, you can almost sense panic in her son’s messages. To him, it all sounded like a lot of work. And by the way, what in the heck is a bulletin board?

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

Lazy or still confused?

After explaining what a bulletin board is, he posed yet another question. Walking? Do you mean all to a different location on campus? That sounds exhausting or perhaps somewhat confusing.

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

Feeling a little miffed

By this point, Kathy is stumped that all of this seems so foreign to her son. She did things the old-fashioned way for a long time. So, what’s so hard to understand. But as a good mom, she continues to provide him with answers.

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

It’s all crazy

That’s what her son felt about the way things were done before the internet. He understood putting cards on a bulletin board but how in the world was he supposed to get more information? Then Kathy gives him what seems like an easy-to-understand explanation.

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

Way too much effort

The funny part of this text exchange is that Kathy’s son couldn’t for the life of him figure out how people lived in pre-internet days. Everything people had to do for school just seemed unnecessary and overwhelming. Kathy was quite amused.

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

Gaining insight

But at the same time, she realized just how big the gap was between the younger and older generation. Hopefully, her son learned a few things…like what a bulletin board is…and gained a new appreciation for his mom. As for her, their texts gave her the opportunity to engage and share precious memories.

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Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence Source: Facebook/Kathy Sweeten Torrence

Lessons learned

Yes, most people use texting to send short messages. But after seeing this conversation, maybe some will understand that they too have the chance to teach their children or another young person, some values of earlier life. If nothing else, texting could help bridge the age gap and start conversations about even more critical things.

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Unsplash/Tim Mossholder Source: Unsplash/Tim Mossholder

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