When I was 2 and 3 years old, I started learning how to talk, spell, and type all at the same time on the newly released Commodore Vic-20. The Vic-20 was arguably the first popular home computer was an 8-bit powerhouse, with 5 whole k of RAM and an optional audio-cassette recorder to save and load games with. (Yep, I remember saving games on an audio cassette, The Geek is old) In the early days, technology was used by the nerdiest of nerds and the geekiest of geeks and was all about information and learning. (Remember playing Oregon Trail on Apple II-e computers in school?)
Even when IBM PC’s and Macs started hitting popularity in the early 90’s, there were no blogs, Facebooks, Googles, or WoW’s. We posted on bulletin boards (the pre-cursor to forums) and at one point, using Prodigy to get online, you even had to pay per post if you went over your allotted amount. (25 cents per post, it was crazy) We didn’t have unlimited long-distance and we used modems to get online. (Depending on your age, you can ask your parents about the crazy loud noise modems make when connecting to the internet, or see the new Muppets movie)
At this point, technology was still about information, yet there was the rise of the usenet and file-sharing so if you knew someone nerdy enough, they could get you music, movies, or ‘adult entertainment’… one song took about 30 to 45 minutes to download so they had to be good friends.
During this time, there was no portability and components were HEAVY. People still read newspapers, books, and magazines and would often litter their bathroom with such materials to keep that time from getting boring. If you found yourself with nothing else, you would read whatever you could find.
Which brings me to this edition of Whatever Happened To: Reading Bathroom Product Labels.
These days, technology is all about portability. Books on the go with the Kindle, games on the go with EVERYTHING, cameras, video cameras, and even the internet can now be found in the palm of your hand. (A far cry from what may have been found in your hand in the old days) It is not uncommon to text someone, update your Facebook status, or even play Angry Birds as you sit atop your Porcelain Throne. You may even be reading this blog while visiting John and I may be typing it while using the loo. When you use the potty you can do just about anything, including watching Netflix, so no one thinks to pick up any bathroom products and see what horrible, unpronounceable ingredients they are made of.
Just think about this, those products go through hours, sometimes days of product testing on animals. Trees have been cleared and chemicals have been spilled. Many men and women have ignored their families while toiling over the design and wording on the labels you now take for-granted. So please, don’t let those families children grow up with emotionally neglected scars in vain, set down the iPhone, put away the Android, stick the Kindle under the sink and pull out some Vic’s Vapo-Rub and learn something new. And while you are at it, leave some products lying around the can for those who don’t have any technology to keep them distracted while they ‘drop the kids off at the pool’. They’d thank you for it, if they weren’t already so embarrassed by what they just finished doing.