Riding radical rollercoaster of recent(ish) inventions

I saw this article recently entitled “40 Things that Didn’t Exist 40 Years Ago.” Intrigued, I had to check out some of these said things.

Here we go:

Selfies — Though the concept is kind of timeless, never has it been so easy to take hundreds of self-portraits. Just think of how odd it’ll be in the near future, with adults reminiscing about old times over photos of their younger selves taken at arm’s length. Just as my own personal take, these have technically existed for many moons, we just never referred to them as selfies, right?

Premade sandwiches — On mornings where nothing went right, your parents would’ve loved having this option to throw into a lunchbox or lunch bag. Alas, these thaw-and-eat sandwiches only debuted in 2000.

Fruit pouches — We’ve all grown used to the sight of kids sucking on bags of applesauce, veggie and fruit purees, which is something that wouldn’t have been possible in the heady days of the ’70s.

Febreze — This odor eliminator was nothing short of a miracle when it was introduced in 1998.

Swiffer — Same for the humble Swiffer, which was introduced in 1999 and forever saved us from having to constantly mop — and lug buckets of water around!

Diaper Genies — When my 24-year-old was just a wee babe, I of course had one! Though the origins are a bit murky (the invention came about sometime in the 1990s), we can’t imagine a nursery without this diaper disposal system. Blech!

Healthy-ish fast-casual restaurants — There were a few kid-friendly restaurant chains and fast-food options, but nowhere that let you turn lunch or dinner into a choose-your-own-adventure of burritos or tacos. Chipotle came into our lives in 1993; thank goodness!

Fidget spinners — Back in my day, when you wanted to annoy your teachers and parents (while also letting out your excess energy), all you had to do was tap your pencil against your desk or throw a wad of paper at a friend or sibling. Who knew these annoying little things were off in the horizon?

Cake smashing — Back in the day, smashing your little hands into a cake would be cause for punishment, not a photo shoot. From the ’90s on through the current day, it seems to be something of a cause for celebration? P.S. Isn’t that what cake is for? Just sayin’.

Wikipedia i.e. www.wikipedia.org — Remember having to do research for school reports from the latest set of encyclopedias? Today’s kids have no idea how lucky they are to have Wikipedia (even if teachers frown upon it as a source), which launched in 2001.

FaceTime … along with Skype and Google Hangouts — These apps do something that would have been unimaginable to you as a child: Now kids can visit face-to-face with far-flung grandparents and other relatives without leaving the living room.

Beach tents — You might have received a coat of Coppertone before a long day at the beach, which would seem woefully inadequate to modern day parents who buy pop up tents for their little ones as a means of sunscreen.

The Elf on the Shelf — Though it feels like they’ve been a trend forever, Santa’s always-watching employee only debuted in 2005. Now, you can get on-trend little outfits for the elves, in case they are tired of their work uniforms. Truth be told? These little creepers really freak me out!

Kimerer is a columnist who is low-key afraid of elves on shelves. Send her words of comfort to pkimerer@zoominternet.net.


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