Recently Chloe, my 7 year old grand daughter, discovered my cordless headphones. She paired them to her Grandfather’s iPhone, dialled up all her favourite YouTube music videos, then wandered around the house singing along, happy she wasn’t tethered to a device by restrictive cords. [She enjoyed brushing her teeth, eating lunch, doing her word-find puzzles all the time in the world of her own music.]
Watching Stranger Things and the four protagonists are members of the AV club. In the first episode they are excited to get the latest in HAM radio technology at school were they can talk to people as far away as Australia. At home they keep in touch with their bulky but “cool as” walkie-talkie units. Truly these things are the size of.. pft I can’t even find a good comparison because nothing is that big anymore! Stranger Things is set in 1983 and look how much our communication devices have changed, and shrunk, since then.
We talk about how fast things change - most especially technology. My Grandfather used to say that no one else in the history of man would experience the rapid change he and his contemporaries experienced from 1920s through to the 2010s. From horse drawn carts to cars to space flight, he claimed never again would mankind change so much in under 100 years. But I never did agree with him, because we don’t know what we’ll be doing and howwe’ll be doing it and what technology will be enabling us in another 100 years. Maybe looking back from 100 years hence our current technology will look very much like horse drawn transportation.
When Chloe is an old grandmother seeing her family listening to music with whatever the future holds for that medium, relay the memory of the first time she used cordless headphones and how magical they seemed; how liberating! her grandchildren will most likely scoff and even laugh a bit at the thought of such clunky tech being thought of as amazing and small and light and liberating as they blink to change the music they are absorbing through their skin and storing in their DNA.