Sounds My Children Will Never Hear

I faintly remember a milkman used to deliver milk to my grandmother each week. She’d place the glass bottles on her doorstep and magically they’d get refilled – sometimes even with chocolate milk.

My kids will never know of anything other than a grocery store to get food.

I used to sit in my room on weekends and evenings playing records and reading liner notes. Sometimes I’d even grab a lyrics sheet and sing along.

My sons will get their music from the cloud, any song, any time, whenever they want it. There will be no artwork associated with it, there will be no lyrics to read. They’ll never know what a scratched record sounds like or a skipping cd. They’ll never appreciate the snap, crackle and pop of a needle as it first lands on a dusty classic.

Time marches on, things change.

Did you ever wonder why we still have raised numbers on our credit cards?

I’m sure you remember that chunk-chunk sound of a credit card machine at the department store when your Mom bought a sweater. The numbers on the cards were raised for the imprint. Now, in an era of swiping, chips and magnetic strips, why do we have the raised numbers?

My kids will never know that chunk-chunk sound.

I took typing in high school. I fought with ribbons, stuck keys and typos while churning out term papers in university.

My kids sit at a table with a dead keyboard and check their email, or their “spacebook” so they’ll remember the sound of clicking keys, but for how much longer? As touch and voice interfaces start to infiltrate more user experiences, will my grandkids never know the sound of fingers on keys?

They may sound trivial now, but eventually these things will be our nostalgia.

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