Remember that hilarious and somewhat disheartening video from about a month ago detailing what happens when you give a modern-day kid a rotary phone? Well, the “Kids React” series is back, and this time they’re giving a Walkman a try. And when I say it will make you feel old, I mean it. Really, really old. I mean, let’s face it: Those of us who remember a time before iPhones are practically fossils at this point, aren’t we?
The test subjects range from ages six to 13. When given this strange device, some take it with trepidation, giving a sort of non-verbal “Uh… what I am supposed to do with this, exactly?” reaction; others grasp it with excitement, only to fall prey a moment later to sudden confusion (“Oooo, a phone!... Oh. What is this thing?”). Most of them have no idea what it is. When asked what they think it might be, the answers range from a Walkie-Talkie (hey, at least they still know what those are!) to a boombox. The gal who gets it right even goes beyond the brand name and calls it a cassette player. Gasp! Someone under the age of 10 who still knows what a cassette is!
I’ve got to say, I’m most impressed that the younger kids were better at guessing than the older ones were — the 12-year-old and 13-year-old looked the most confused of the bunch. Then again, given that these kids have never known a world before MP3s…well, you do the math. Though they’d probably be somewhat surprised to learn that the research that eventually lead to the appearance of the first portable MP3 player in 1999 began way back in 1987. TIL, right?
I’ll note that 13-year-old Derek’s response to the old school headphones eventually produced for the kids — “I’m such a ‘90s kid, but I wasn’t born in the ‘90s!” — is quite possibly one of the most horrifying things I have ever heard. Not because the kid himself is horrifying; rather, it’s because nothing else they’ve said has made me feel quite as old as that. If the ‘90s are ancient history for these kids, the ‘80s, from whence I sprang, must be the prehistoric era. And given that the Walkman first burst onto the scene in 1979? That must seem like it took place pre-Big Bang.
Little girl who knew exactly what it was and how to use it? You win. Also your parents win, because clearly they are totally on their game when it comes to teaching you valuable cultural lessons about times gone by. The rest of you? Pay attention!