Children confused by Walkmans




Okay. We get it. The pace of technology development is really fast, and I'm really old. The grey hairs and my slow 2-year-old smartphone were already doing an excellent job enforcing this point. Looks at boxes full of cassette tapes So much for the legacy I was going to leave my kids.


"... it sat like an artifact of possibly alien origin inherited from a mysterious great-uncle, an artifact inert and lifeless yet hinting at mechanisms to be activated and energies to be summoned if only one could work out how ..."


Why were they confused by the requirement to have headphones? No iPod had a built-in speaker until 2008 and there are models like the Shuffle without them still. Plus all the non-Apple MP3 players.


Non Apple MP3 players? Surely you jest.


Yeah, I didn't get that either. I see kids using headphones all the time. They use the same jacks.


Hey kids, wanna see a neat trick with some old technology? I can put the headphones of my old Sony Walkman next to my iPhone with the Voice Memos app running and make my own MP3's of things that may never be available on iTunes.

Wanna hear something else funny? Paul McCartney really was in a group before Wings! Who's Paul McCartney, you ask? Well, he was...GET OFF MY LAWN!


Damn kids these days!


These kids look to me like they're hamming it up for the camera. They appear to be quite aware of the trope.


Agree. The girl who girl who keeps stabbing at something ith her finger particularly. She's never seen a button? Add the very strange lack of headphone awareness, and I'm calling this as pretty fake.


Apparently, the youth of the "cinematic post-apocalyptic future" make these kids look like morons. Even the Feral Kid was able to operate a music box.


Hmmm we give kids a portable music player with no headphones, speaker, or media and oh hey look wow they are confused.


If my child ever reacts like this to "old" tech I'm going to kill him with a 45 - LP.

I'm also betting they all think 128 bit anything sounds perfect.


My sister owns a gramophone and kids don't have such problems figuring it out… 


Yes, the more I think about it, the more I think they were playing up an act of, "Gosh, I don't understand anything but iPads!"

I can believe they'd be slightly confused by cassette tapes -- they were clumsy and annoying, and we did pretty abruptly stop using them. But it's ridiculous that kids wouldn't recognize buttons. And the headphone bit had to be scripted. I'd be more inclined to believe those kids had never seen an audio device without a standard 3.5 mm audio jack.


I had to deal with about the same issue first-hand a few years ago. My daughter's Bat Mitzvah tutor used to give her homework practice on cassette tapes and so I gave my daughter a cassette player to use for it. Even though she knew what a cassette was and what she needed the player for, it did take her a bit of work to figure it out. How to open it was a problem. Then there was the whole A side/B side issue where forward on one side becomes reverse on the other.

My daughter wound up setting things up so that she could use Audacity to create MP3s of the lessons and put them on her iPod.

By the time my next daughter started her tutoring, the teacher had moved to emailing audio files (unfortunately .wma files, but still, a step ahead.)


I'm confused by your use of 128 bit. Are you talking about 128 bit digital quantization? Because we've basically capped out at 64, which already has far more precision than we actually need. Or did you actually mean 128 kbps lossy audio compression?


I'm sure a sound engineer somewhere will work out how to break it, like they broke CDs in the loudness wars.


128 bit lossy compression.


I remember having to buy a serial cable a few years ago.
Reactions included the college kid in the NYU computer store - "Do you mean a USB cable?" - as well as the Radioshack guy's "Do you want to connect a monitor?"
I could still remember serial mice from the 90s and man, I felt old.