Did this Breakthrough Imaginative Toy Inspire Cell Phones?
How often do you go somewhere without your phone? Like really? I mean if we’re honest, we take these little super computers everywhere with us.
They are in our pocket, purse or hand all of the time, and if they aren’t … they are within arms reach, right?
Do you remember a time before we were addicted to our phones? I was sharing with some friends nostalgically about the days before we had phones to text each other or even call each other constantly. I posed the question, ‘what did we do before these things?’
I started thinking back about my adolescence and childhood. I know I watched a lot of television. My favorite show in elementary and high school was ‘Saved by the Bell.’ I know I wasn’t the only kid who watched this in syndication repeatedly on TBS every afternoon at 3:30 and 4:00 pm.
We played outside, riding bikes, jumping on trampolines and I even read a fair amount of books. When I started thinking about how I communicated with my friends, I first thought of passing notes. Remember those? Drawing doodles, or playing “MASH.”
Those were fun times. Sometime around 4th or 5th grade, a new toy appeared on the market and I wanted one. It was made by Casio and called a ‘My Magic Diary.’ You could type notes into it and create an avatar of yourself and your friends. You could save phone numbers in it, and it had a horoscope feature that calculated compatibility. This was super fun to do if you knew your crush’s birthday.
The next Christmas, a new version of this toy was released called the Secret Sender 6000. It had the same functions as the magic diary, but you could also send messages to your friend from across the room, and even control the tv.
I played some tricks on adults with this toy more than once when they thought they were in control of the tv remote. The major drawback was that in order to send a message to someone, they also had to have a secret sender 6000. Thankfully, my best friend and I each got one the same year for Christmas.
It’s funny to look back at the technology now, and think how revolutionary that seemed at the time, and how we take for granted that we can text anyone anytime and they will just reply back. We’ve come a long way, and sometimes it makes me long for the simpler things.
When was the last time you wrote someone a note? Was it to your spouse, a friend, sent a hand written card or note just to say thank you or hello? Maybe it’s time we revisit that practice.