The digital age: Anyone else struggling to keep up?

It’s pretty mental the changes in technology we’ve seen in our lifetime. I can vividly remember the first time I sat on a PC to use the internet at secondary school, and I didn’t get it. ‘You can ask it anything you want!’ they said, to which I stared blankly ahead and thought about what I might buy from the bakery on my walk home from school. I didn’t really get it.

My Dad had a massive funky PC at his house, which we would spend hours creating calendars and happy birthday signs using Banner. Printed out on dot matrix paper, we thought it was the height of technology. We still have a few boxes of that old dot matrix paper with corrugated joins…it made really bad biro drawn birthday cards which my Mum likes to remind us of. I wonder when those endless boxes of paper will eventually run out.

My brother had one of those games consoles (ZX Spectrum?) with cassette tapes, with which he played ‘Colin the Cleaner’ and ‘Legend of Zorro’ whilst I was busy listening to Mel and Kim, and Kylie on my own cassette player in my bedroom next door. Plus of course, recording the top ten off the radio on a Sunday with determination of steel to get minimal DJ chat over the start and end of the song. Crooning away to ‘Too many broken hearts ‘ and ‘Never gonna give you up’, wishing I could be a member of the cast of Neighbours. God they were good days weren’t they?

As PC’s and improved graphics became more accessible- the Spectrum was replaced with a SNES and I could even be found whipping my bro’s butt Chung Li Street Fighter style and bouncing around on the platforms of Mario & Luigi.  Nintendo Game Boy brought endless Tetris fun, the simplistic yet addictive game that was years ahead of it’s Candy Crush time. Soon superceded by it’s advanced Nintendo DS, we were all totally hooked on training our brains and working out our brain age. I dread to think how mine has deteriorated since then.

Image result for street fighter 2 chun li

Whilst the bro was loving the gaming era of the eighties and early nineties…I carried on with those tapes. Except they became (for a very short time) mini discs. The mini disc player was swiftly upgraded to a CD player, which could ‘never break’…hmmm…well, it certainly made a nice change not to have to turn it over and fast forward to skip back a track. They said they’d never take off…much like the mini disc.

Unlike the handheld computers my husband likes to display in our shed-come-museum-of-technology, the CD obviously did take off and had a pretty good stint. It’s hard to believe my CD collection now resides in the museum, alongside the bags of videos and snail trailed games consoles. As a teenager, I’d walk to the local music store every weekend and buy the number one single CD for my collection. Needless to say there will be no music magpie-ing those memories. Sadly, even I didn’t have the patience to upload each CD to my iTunes collection before boxing them up – if I did, I’d probably still be there now, unmarried with no kids, just an incredibly strange obsession with 90’s one hit wonders.

What a good decision, because who knew, that now, even iTunes collections seem to be fading. With online subscriptions like Spotify, I rarely tap into any of my old music – I just hit search and stream direct to the Sonos speakers. It’s kinda sad for me, that girl who treasured every single CD on her shelves and would have nights of not going to bed until we (me and my BFF) had listened to one track off every CD. We obviously always failed.

Image result for ant and dec single

I have no idea where my music is now (well apart from Ant & Dec and friends rotting in the shed) – my iTunes library seems to have disappeared from my phone – and if I want to listen to anything it asks me to pull it down from the clouds.

Probably, because so much of my phone memory (all 64GB of it) is now decimated by my photo library.

As an old school photo lover, my role within my circle was always night out / weekender / day tip official photographer. I always had a few spare films and after I’d been to the music store each saturday , I’d be in the photography shop next door to pick up the latest set of pictures which had got back from being developed. A whole week I’d waited to see those photos – do you remember that anticipation as you ripped the sleeve open? Laughing hysterically at the good and the bad?!

I remember my first digital camera – it was clunky, and slow, and I didn’t really know how to get the images off it. A bit like my daughters kidi-zoom actually. The batteries (8 x AA) died constantly and it all felt so alien. I quickly upgraded it again, and again and soon got into the swing of digital images.

Image result for first digital camera

I suppose I have to acknowledge the benefits in advances in digital photography. Getting prints developed was a right pain in the arse, and not an efficient way of creating 10 good pictures (and 26 rubbish ones). Nonetheless, I still treasure every album and sleeve of spares boxed away up in the loft. I feel a bit sad about the death of the crap shots, because if we all only ever print the perfect ones, that’s a whole world of memories and giggles we miss out on one day.

As a result, I’m still pretty neurotic about developing photos periodically and putting them in albums. Otherwise, where are all these pictures going to end up? I think I need to let it go, because in this age, the quantity of pictures is beyond being retrievable. My kids will hate me as it is, as I leave to them in my will three hundred albums and ten boxes of ‘spare photos’. Or maybe, they’ll love me for it.

I’ve even (shock horror) stopped backing up my pictures, as last time I transferred my phone pictures to my PC I nearly killed it. I have to live safe in the knowledge that my pictures are in the hall, in an album. And, in the cloud. I think. Although last time I broke my phone, they said I didn’t have the cloud setup? So now I think I have…but my photostream has disappeared, meaning I can’t see my photos on multiple devices any more (that was handy). I’m basically clueless.

I remember my brother having some homework to ask the oldest person he knew what invention had the biggest impact in their life. I clearly remember our 90 0dd year old Great-Nanny’s response, as I sat cross legged on the patterned carpet of her flat, wearing neon dungarees – her answer? The camera. Over aviation, communication, medicine or television. I wonder what on earth we would answer if we made it to our nineties? It still cracks me up every time a kid tries to look on the back of a disposable camera to see the image; it’s mind blowing to imagine what the future holds, in our lifetime and beyond.


To be honest, it feels the photo thing is getting a little out of hand. A few weeks back we took the kids to a country park and I nearly passed out when I realised both our phone batteries were flat – the missed opportunity of images of autumnal family bliss in a gorgeous afternoon light. I had to laugh at myself… What exactly did I feel I was missing out on, whilst my beautiful family were right in front of me, making memories in ACTUAL REAL LIFE. Yeah, I missed out on some cute snaps, but they’d only be lost amongst the thousands of other shots of failed insta-moments, visual notes I couldn’t be bothered to write, and Christmas present idea screenshots. Get a grip Sarah.

The very concept of being without a phone is so alien. I guess those hand held computers did in a way take off after all…it’s almost scary how dependent we have become on technology. There is an app for EVERYTHING. Gaming, shopping, banking, editing photos, printing photos, writing this blog, counting calories, meeting a life partner, monitoring your monthly cycle, planning a baby, even timing your labour contractions, tracking your breast feeds. The next generation are truly being born into a different world.

A totally loyal Apple consumer, I’d never switch…unless it was for a comeback of the old Motorola Razr. Best phone ever. Or even a Nokia…Although I’m not sure how the kids would react to CBeebies app being replaced by snake. To be fair, they’d probably be pleased Mummy actually put her phone down once in awhile.

Image result for motorola razr 

We are still buying Movies on DVD (whilst concurrently trying to clear the damp backlog from the shed), because on occasion the kids favourite films disappear from the planner, Netflix, Sky Movies, Virgin on demand or Apple TV. It’s tricky to hand over to a babysitter when you spend longer explaining where each piece of viewing can be found and on which remote control, than you do with the kids tea / bedtime routine.

Basically, I have no clue where my music, my photos,or my films are. Or where they will be. As the two former items are my most treasured possessions, this sits very uncomfortably.

My heart may be heavy, but my shelves are clear. Well, except from being loaded with books…but don’t get me started on that one…


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44 thoughts on “The digital age: Anyone else struggling to keep up?

  1. min1980 Reply

    Love this! I also have a rusty old CD collection rotting away somewhere that I just can’t bear to get rid of. After all, I can’t take them to the charity shop, because who would want to buy a CD these days anyway?

    1. MMT Reply

      It’s still a strange concept owning music that isn’t actually tangible? It’s been such a leap in our lifetime yet happened so subtly we almost didn’t notice. Almost, but not quite!

  2. Mummy Muckups (Anna) Reply

    I am so lost in technology. Though I am amazed at how far I’ve come in a year of blogging, I still am light years behind many shared blogging threads and idea exchanges. Everything changes so fast and everyone has an opinion. And FYI; i still don’t have netflix. #bigpinklinky

    1. MMT Reply

      I guess I’m a blogger which is quite ‘modern’ ha ha! Cringe, that sounds such a Mum thing to say 🙂

  3. justsayingmum (@justsayingmum) Reply

    Oh the panic at the run out of charge phones and all those beautifully missed photo opportunities – this really made me laugh! What have we become?! But yes, to living real life. I missed taking some photos at the weekend when we were out – so cross with myself but really does it matter? The way technology is going there will probably be photos taken and stored above us without us knowing and we can just tap into them as and when – imagine?! I almost feel that the way technology is going anything is possible and that is kind of scary! #MarvMondays xx ps Mel & Kim!!

  4. thefrenchiemummy Reply

    Nicely said! We are so addicted to all this new technology stuff now. I remember my first mobile and I was not really into it. But now, I can’t imagine living without it! I heard about the ZX Spectrum, it was part of Grumpy Boyfriend’s lfe when he was young. YOu can see a sparkle in his eyes every time he mentions it… It muts have been something! #bigpinklink

  5. Jakijellz Reply

    Oh my goodness are you sure we aren’t the same person?!? I could have written this post! I relate to everything you have written. From Kylie, Jason, Neighbours, the Top 40, the CD single collection (which I foolishly binned goddamnit!!), PJ & DUNCAN! (Also had the album – on CD!) The Razr (ending a phonecall in a huff never felt so good!) and the iPhone. And spending too much time on it.
    I love this post! Thanks for bringing back some awesome memories! #marvmondays xx

  6. Reply

    Oh man… when you lay it out like that it’s actually a little scary! I remember our first home computer, it was huge, slow and the damn screeching phone line if you wanted to get on the internet! haha. I also remember the switch from VHS to DVD, going through the consoles from mega drive, master system, playstation 1, 2, xbox, game boy colour, ds etc haha. Also the singles! wow. I could have written this. Great post. One thing I am truly grateful for is that despite my kindle and ebooks I still love a paper book more than anything, and still read every day, a good book is a treasure xx #bigpinklink

  7. madmotherintheattic Reply

    All so true! I read that technology will advance by the equivalent of 10000 years in this century alone. I’m with you on the CDs and iTunes. I still have a whole pile in the cupboard that I can’t quite bring myself to part with. But you never know, if our new world of technology collapses I could still play them on my daughter’s Frozen CD player… #MarvMondays

  8. Back With A Bump Reply

    I can’t keep up either and feel like a right pld fart explaining fax machines and VHS tapes to my daughter!! Thanks for joining us as always for #marvmondays

  9. Back With A Bump Reply

    Back over from marvmondays to #coolmumclub

  10. Sunita Reply

    Amazing blog post. Goodness so much of this is true. I remember using typewriters at school! Showing my age now. Think I discovered the Internet at Uni. Only set up my first hotmail email account when I left Uni!! Mobile
    Phones. When I moved to London from my suburban town mum asked if I needed one. I say no!!! Of course not mum they look naff and people might laugh at me!!! Crikey and now look where we are. Last night I was complaining to my husband that the camera on my iPhone isn’t good enough. Loved those days of developing camera rolls down the pharmacy. And yes sometimes it isn’t about capturing all of the memories all of the time (Mr H is passionate about this as its about just storing them in your mind and heart). Lovely hanging at out at #coolmumclub xxx Sunita. Xxx

  11. Becky @ Educating Roversi Reply

    I love this! It was like travelling back in time as I remember gadgets from yesterday year! I too remember all those photographs we got developed, Alex the kid on MegaDrive, Gameboy (the brick) -!: recording songs off the charts on a Sunday. It’s a little sad my son won’t experience the innocence of it all. But by the time he’s my age, he’ll be looking back fondly on Spotify #CoolMumClub

  12. beautybabyandme Reply

    Love this – and I adored my Motorola Razor phone – in pink, of course! I thought I was the bees knees! It’s crazy how quickly it all develops and changes! xx #coolmumclub

  13. ourrachblogs Reply

    Technology overwhelms me. I went to a technology school yet it didn’t work because I am so technology inept it’s ridic. I can’t be away from my phone, it’s like my third arm (bad isn’t it?). I often wonder how things will be in 50 years time. Food for thought eh? #coolmumclub

  14. Lindsay Reply

    Very thought provoking! I’ve always thought that the whole cloud storage of pics thing is a disaster waiting to happen. The virtual pics will always be there, but our means of accessing virtual info does become obsolete – just think of all those images we’ve backed up onto floppy discs over the years! I’m with you on printing things out – our legacy for billions of years has been the physical ‘things’ we can touch and handle and pass on. Great post! #coolmumclub

  15. The Kitschy Mumma (@thekitschymumma) Reply

    I feel really privileged to have grown up without much technology. There were no phones, only the house phone. A camera you had to put film in and just hope that you would get a decent picture. The N64 that I had to share with my 4 brothers. I really think technology has taken over. I’m guilty though of never being without my phone. Always checking Facebook and Twitter. I wish we could go back 15 years before Apple and social media took over #coolmumclub

  16. Janine Reply

    Oh gosh this is such an awesome post. I really miss flicking through actual photos but I don’t miss all the room they take up. I also hate it when you go to take a really great picture only to discover that you don’t have enough battery left. Also I am so so bad at using technology. I often have to ask my daughter or my husband to help me out. It’s a wonder I was even able to start a blog at all really.

    Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  17. bobsys mum (@stressed_mummy_) Reply

    It’s all very scary. I’m a bit of a geek…and if you look at an old episode of star trek…and I mean late 1990’s old, not captain kirk old. They have warp drive and meet aliens, but their “pads” aren’t anywhere near as good as ipads and tablets we have today. So 20 years ago we thought it would be possible to have alien friends, travel at warp speeds, have no wars, no cash money, and no disease. But we couldn’t imagine an ipad!

  18. Chilli Regina Reply

    The digital era…Sometimes it’s so hard to believe how the world has changed over a couple of decades. Completely different world. I sometimes miss those good old days. I think our kids really do miss out on some fab stuff that we had the oportunity to live. But I guess they don’t know it as they haven’t been trough it:).It’s just some good material for stories of our past..And that reminds of a TV documentary, where they said that now is the era of evolution for humans, being transformed from Homo sapiens to Homo ludens!;)

  19. Angela Watling Reply

    I always muse on this stuff. Glad I’m not alone. My husband and I did sit and make digital copies of all our CDs before boxing them up (we’re take kind of neurotic and stingy person!) and I do dip into them now and again. But even though we can browse album art etc, I’ve never related to my music as well digitally as I did flicking through my physical CDs. Also, I rarely listen to a complete album anymore which is a shame. There also feels to be SO MUCH music out there now that I don’t know where to start finding new stuff. Ah for the days of taping the top 40… You really had to earn listening to a song back then 🙂 #CoolMumClub

  20. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Yes to all of this! I’m finding the whole tech thing massively disconcerting of late…just written a post dedicated to the old phone and how it’s screwing us up. I think we need to go back to basics! Great post my #coolmumclub co-hostess lovely xx

  21. The Mumatron Reply

    What. Is. The. Cloud? Yes I know it’s digital storage, but WHAT IS IT? Where is it? Is there actually a massive computer somewhere with everyone’s stuff in it? My head does no comprehend this. Nor does it comprehend streaming. From where? I love Netflix but please don’t ask me how it works. My husband wants a raspberrypi for Christmas because it can do coding. A what now? For doing what? I feel embarassingly out of touch with technology, I get my photos printed through photobox or someone so they don’t just poof into thin air, I’ve got spotify but throwing away the CD’s just isn’t going to happen, yet anyway! #coolmumclub

  22. tinmccarthy Reply

    oh I am with you. I needed to use SKYPE for a podcast yesterday and I was freaking out. In the end it was simple- it still scared me though.


  23. thetaleofmummyhood Reply

    Wow, those mobile phones! I remember how advanced they were when they came out!


  24. Winnettes Reply

    I struggle to keep up with some things but my husband is very tech savvy so if there is some ‘must have’ new product I am usually one of the first to hear about it. I agree that photos are getting a little out of hand. The girls often get bought books with CD’s in or the like but we no longer have anyway of playing them. We have no DVD player and no disk reader in any of our computers. Everything is digital in our house if it can be. This is purely thanks to my Hubby, I think if it were left to me we would be stuck in 2003.

  25. alisonlonghurst Reply

    I am totally drowning with technology! Today my contactless card didn’t work, I didn’t know the pin and my Apple Pay then wouldn’t work – help! I don’t know how to record on our TV…hell, I can hardly work the TV. I hate it. I really and truly hate relying on technology. Then again, when it works, of course I love it – provided I know how to make it work! Alison x #coolmumclub

  26. Nicole Reply

    Such a nostalgic post haha… I rem my first PC as well (big and heavy and ugly)… the nintendo games… the cassettes…
    In contrast, my 3-year-old can already distinguish between youtube and amazon prime – he knows exactly which show is on which!!!

  27. Lucy At Home Reply

    I love this post so much!!! It’s been like a good old jog down Memory Lane! In amongst all the nostalgia I think you made a really poignant point too – we only print the perfect photos now! Maybe that’s why we feel such pressure to be perfect all of the time. Great post. I’m sharing! #CoolMumClub

  28. five little doves Reply

    I LOVE this!!! We had the spectrum ZX too, it used to take AGES to load up on the tape cassette and if it went wrong you had to start all over again, it’s crazy to look back. I can remember getting a game boy that you had to slot the games in the back and the excitement the first time we got a joystick! Life was so much simpler back then but I don’t know how we would cope without all of our technology today! I would be well and truly lost without my phone! #coolmumclub

  29. Amina Reply

    Gosh this post has really made me feel nostalgic and taken me back to getting our first computer. I totes remember banner! There were so many PC games I used to play. And now I feel like I can’t keep up with technology and the advancements are just too quick. Social media is taking off and it takes me hours to get my head around things sometimes. Totally know what you mean about the camera thing. I take too many pictures and sometimes it spoils the day because I’m more interested in ‘capturing the moment’ rather than actually enjoying it!

    Amina xx | #coolmumclub

  30. mumworkrepeat Reply

    Ah a trip down memory lane, so sweet, those good old days of sitting by your cassette recorder, pause on, pause off, when you were trying to capture the Top 10. Oh and that’s just jolted another memory, when music wasn’t available on TV apart from once a week for Top of the Pops!
    In a world where kids always have their faces stuck in tech, it would be nice to rewind the clock just slightly.
    I have a warm glow! #coolmumclub

  31. mummymiller Reply

    I sometimes hate the digital age, what actually is this cloud and how do we actually access it?! I embrace technology to a point but I still wish things were a bit simpler at times. #coolmumclub

  32. theintolerantmum Reply

    Yes! The cloud! No idea whether my photos are backed up or where, or how to check or access them, and does the cloud backup even the ones you have deleted??!! That’s a scary thought. Some terrible selfie fails on there #coolmumclub

  33. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) Reply

    We have boxes of old technology in our house, cameras, games consoles, music players and I suggested we try and sell them and my husband just roared with laughter. I am so inept with technology it is unbelievable, I am still in the dinosaur era which is probably why my blog suffers on that side and I just keep taking very small steps. Insecurity at its best. #coolmumclub

  34. Harriet Reply

    I definitely share memories of recording the radio, cassette players, tetris!! You just don’t get games like that anymore. I lived in Australia for a few years recently and I think they’re a few years behind the times over there. Since moving back I’ve been playing catch up and am hoping I can work out what it is everyone is talking about. I’m still not quite sure I use the Cloud properly and have a constant fear of losing music. One this is for sure, my 16Gb phone is not cutting it and is in need of a major upgrade! #coolmumclub

  35. Mrs Mummy Harris Reply

    We still use cds for when hubby has enough of my crap music taste or when a music app runs out of it’s free trial!
    It is amazing how far the camera has come, I used to love my disposable camera, if you got one good shot you were lucky!! #coolmumclub

  36. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Reply

    Love this post – so many memories relived through it! Ah the days of cassette tape video games, recording the top 40 from the radio, buying CD singles (I had that PJ and Duncan one too) and playing Tetris and the brain training games (I’d forgotten about those!) It’s amazing to look back and see how much technology had moved on since our childhood days and a little scary to think about how far it might continue to move in the future. Our kids are certainly growing up in a very different world to the one we grew up in! #coolmumclub

  37. funkymrsknutts Reply

    I love technology and seeing the new ‘things’ that are out to make our lives easier, but I have to say, when it comes to my favourite bands bringing out an album or my fave author writing a new book, I still buy the CD and the book. Sod the kindle 😉 Loved this post! Snake rocked too on the Nokia 😉 xx #bigpinklink

  38. New Mummy Blog Reply

    I seriously could have written this! Though I’ve just upgraded to Windows 10 and finally manage to back up my phone and iPad (I had to do each folder itself, but it did it!). I was sooooooo happy! I wish I had your dedication to printing photos, it’s something I talk about and start to do so often and never do. I loved making them and adding captions. I still love flicking through my photo albums and want H to be able to do the same. A fab post as always xx

  39. shinnersandthebrood Reply

    This is all so true! I’m never quite sure about where my photos actually are anymore. Like you, I ‘think’ they’re in a cloud somewhere. It’s all getting so complicated. Trying to keep up for my kids’ sake! #CoolMumClub

  40. tammymum Reply

    It’s mad when you think about how far things have come and how much they’ve changed. When I think I used to sit there and dial up and you couldn’t use the phone at the same time. It’s quite funny actually. I do like this magical storage system on a cloud somewhere. I don’t for the life of me understand it but it defineitly frees up some space #coolmumclub

  41. absolutely prabulous Reply

    I’ve just given myself neck ache nodding my head and laughing at this! I was QUEEN of the cassette tape and the top 40 reference brought back such memories. It IS crazy to think CD’s are now outdated (because I still think they’re the height of technological advancement!). But what the actual heck: YOU of all people don’t know where your photos/music etc are?! I thought you were the uber organised one out of us all?! How I loved this post Sarah. Def a Blog Stars contender methinks #coolmumclub

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