Remember that handy black gadget that was so cool 20 years ago? I remember begging my parents to get me one of them, as my classmates all had one. A chunky black box with matching headphones, which were just as chunky, seemed to be one of the coolest status symbols way back then. This year, the Sony Walkman is celebrating its 30th birthday, but its coolness factor has since then dissipated.
The years have given way to superior technology, better looks, and different preferences. Now, many kids do not even know what a Walkman is. Instead, they bring along iPods, which many say are the new Walkmans. So what would the kids of today think of the Walkman if they had the chance to use it?
BBC invited 13-year-old Scott Campbell to trade his iPod for a Walkman. It was amusing to read his thoughts about the experience:
My dad had told me it was the iPod of its day.
He had told me it was big, but I hadn’t realised he meant THAT big. It was the size of a small book.
When I saw it for the first time, its colour also struck me. Nowadays gadgets come in a rainbow of colours but this was only one shade – a bland grey.
Then again, I felt sad that this kid felt embarrassed about bringing the Walkman to school. I felt sad that he didn’t seem to have that “scientific” curiosity to go on a more meaningful journey to discover the differences of the two gadgets. I am just hoping that Scott gleaned some insights from this experience. The Walkman of old may be passé, but it meant a lot to my generation.