This week’s Discover Challenge: For Posterity
This week, share a post about something that’s about to disappear — but worth remembering.
For this week’s challenge, I dig into my love of nostalgia and of the technology of my nostalgic past to find something I’d love to always remember once it disappears (which is inevitable in today’s technology-driven society).
Go to amazon.com and do a search for Sony Walkman. (Go ahead and do it – I’ll wait.) If you’re of the current generation of young people ordering online, you’ll run into mp3 players that have earned the name “Sony Walkman.”
Feel compelled to scroll down the page a little, and you’ll likely run into this. (Again, go ahead and do it – I’ll wait).
You can glean on the shiny mp3 players, all of which do things that we never believed possible growing up in the decade of plastic rectangles that were inserted into little plastic doors that snapped closed on your little plastic square device and played at the click of a plastic button. And yes, the button made an actual “click” sound. You listened to those little plastic rectangles until those little black and copper (or silver and black, whatever your preference was) cylinders began to run out of their vital energy, and the sounds on those tapes became slow and unrecognizable. Then you would pop a few more of those little black and copper (or silver and black) cylinders – again, whatever your preference was – into the little compartment designated especially for them. Then, you’ll put on those headphones that came with your little plastic square device (the one with the little plastic door that holds the little plastic rectangle in place), and press the little plastic button to resume the sound coming from the little plastic rectangle.
Rinse and repeat.
I know it seems a little superfluous that I said “little” and “plastic” alot, but really, how else can you describe the material makeup of such a device that could only be the original Sony Walkman. While I’m aware this is not the original, the concept was of the original. Nothing will ever be the original:
And this one isn’t even the original. This is just the one 80s babies remember well.
I recall a few months back, thinking how amazing it would be if Sony decided to go with a design for their current mp3 Sony Walkman by giving it a nostalgic touch – make it yellow with black buttons. Put this logo on it, in that awesome font. I’d gladly put all of my music on an mp3 player that reminds me of a really cool Walkman from the 1980s anyday of the week.
Hear that, Sony – shutup and take my money, if you are willing to make this happen!
I realize, with my heavy nostalgia-loving heart, that this is sadly a dead format – the cassette tape isn’t like the record, it hasn’t come back around yet. Chances are, if you’re going to find a cassette tape somewhere (the little plastic rectangle), it’s in someone’s pre-existing collection. I had lots of these little plastic rectangles, and yes, I had a Walkman – granted, it was a General Electric one – but I still had one and to me, that is how I loved my music. Times change, and I moved onto CDs (same thing with my VCR and videocassettes, moving on to DVDs and Blu-Rays), but my love for nostalgia always burns strong. Likewise, the idea of a new product spiffied up to look like something of my past is a wonderful thing.
These devices were great. Granted, you had to buy the batteries for them, rather than plug them into a charger (hence, lots of money spent on batteries), but they were great. The sound quality is nothing when you compare it to CDs, and now mp3s. That means nothing when you think about how for those of us who embrace the culture of nostalgia, this is something we fondly remember. We remember the days of freeing the cassettes from their plastic cases, snapping open that door, popping the tape into the player, snapping it closed with one satisfying click, and playing the music contained within with a second equally satisfied click. It’s amazing how something so basic in its premise was so incredible. We remember the need to go the music store (Sam Goody, Musicland, Tower Records, anyone?) to buy more cassettes for our little square devices. Eventually, we wore out the cassettes (and the players), but we still loved them until they no longer worked.
For posterity’s sake, I’d like to fondly remember the Walkman – the original concept of the Walkman – and the love non-digital music.