Just for Fun: Things that Would Be Surprising to my Grandparents

I was fanning the paper to put in my copier, and suddenly it hit me how much things have changed since my grandparents were alive. No one had copiers, much less a copier in their home. And ‘fanning’ often involved a lovely ladies’ accessory used to send a message to that special gentleman. It is amazing to think of how many things like this would not have been a part of my grandparent’s experience.

So for your enjoyment, here are “Things that would be surprising to my grandparents”:

  1. The need to ‘Reboot’. It has nothing to do with your feet.
  2. ‘Fast food’ doesn’t mean your mom was cooking in a hurry.
  3. ‘Butt dials’. They can’t happen on a rotary phones- unless you have a very strange talent.
  4. ‘Post-Its’ have nothing to do with the Postal Service.
  5. Facebook, in spite of the name, isn’t a book about faces.
  6. In-home printers. Nope, it’s not the kindergartners working on their homework, carefully printing their alphabet.
  7. Taking pictures with your phone. I chuckle when I think of how that might have worked with the old very heavy rotary phones. Hmm.
  8. ‘Fanning’ the copy paper. And I’m not sending a message to any gentleman by the way I fan the paper.
  9. Don’t use your ‘Kindle’ to start a fire. Find something else for kindling.
  10. ‘Autocorrecting’ doesn’t require an auto mechanic. You can start your car without inserting the key. And it hasn’t been hotwired.
  11. Cell phones have nothing to do with jails.
  12. You can make a phone call in your new place immediately – without the phone company’s physical presence wiring your home.
  13. Social media. You used to talk to your neighbors, listen to the radio, and read the newspapers to find out what was happening.
  14. Now you can read a ‘tweet’, rather than listen to it outside your window.
  15. You need ‘Passwords’ for almost everything financial. And it’s best if they are completely different. But back in the day, you only needed one: the ‘password’ you and your friends would use for entry into the treehouse.

It’s amazing to think how much our lives have changed in just a few generations. In fact, my dad was born one month after the Wright Brothers flew in the first manned flight at Kitty Hawk. He died the year Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. In one lifetime, there was that much change. So now, have some fun noticing what might surprise our grandparents or great-grandparents!


  1. Andrea Williams says:

    I would love to see what technology has brought the world in a hundred years. Your Dad witnessed an amazing amount of change. Just as a guess, I imagine that the 1900s brought more change than the previous thousand years.

    • Terry Turner says:

      You make such a great point, Andrea! Thank you. I suspect we can’t even imagine what our world will look like in 100 years. 🙂 I still wish for flying cars.

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