By Arré Bench Jan. 16, 2020
As we enter yet another decade, the groundbreaking gadgets of the glorious noughties are starting to resemble the chains our grandparents used to keep their spectacles on their face. So grab a box of tissues, because we’re about to bid farewell to iPods, surround sound speakers, and all the technology that shaped our “millennial childhoods”.
Understanding new technology was simpler in the 2000s — all you had to do was get a job for which you’d need a Nokia Communicator, exclude anyone who didn’t have Blackberry messenger, and share one tiny MP3 player between seven people, and you were up to date. Then in the 2010s, iPhones decided they would only cost an arm (the leg was saved for accessories), and infiltrated the market, making flip phones look like they belong in a museum.
Now as we enter a new decade, and phones get larger than the average head, flip-phones look to be making a comeback, and the man with a cassette player is seen as a steampunk icon. We assumed that gadgets couldn’t get much better, considering everyone had the internet to follow their favourite Godmen without having to travel to the satsang grounds, and make free WhatsApp calls to catfishes in Canada.
How wrong we were. As we enter yet another decade, and get slightly closer to all our back problems culminating into three weeks of bedrest, gadgets are evolving faster than ever, making all our “groundbreaking technology” from the glorious noughties look like the chain that our grandparents use to ensure their spectacles don’t fall off their face. So grab a box of tissues, because we’re about to bid farewell to all the technology that shaped our “millennial childhoods”, and things may get a bit emotional.
Once a giant repository of Dil Chahta Hai and Bon Jovi songs, the iPod was a must-have for amateur audiophiles, and students who sing out loud in trains. You knew a friend had got the new iPod because they wouldn’t wait a second before whipping it out and placing it on the table in front of you. Of course, when phones suddenly acquired the ability to store more than eight songs, the iPod became as redundant as the CD player, but Apple continued to make them well into the previous decade.
Of course, when phones suddenly acquired the ability to store more than eight songs, the iPod became as redundant as the CD player.
Then in 2016, the world’s most evil company that also has a soothing colour palette announced that it would stop making the iPod, and thousands of couples who had one headphone in each ear, shed a solitary tear. They will still make the iPod Touch, but let’s face it, no one’s going to buy that. So bye, I guess.
Headphones with wires
Depending on the devices you own, headphone jacks could either be really outdated, or the single-most important crevice in the world. At some point, the committee that decides gadgets of the future, however, agreed with the former and started a tirade against the humble cable by introducing thousands of wireless headphones into the market.
So say goodbye to that good ol’ ball and chain, as we enter a world full of expensive AirPods that fall into couches, “wireless” earphones that still have wires, and bluetooth headphones that disconnect every 20 minutes so everyone around you knows you’re listening to “Summer of 69” until you find the mute button. Sure we’ll miss the convenience of the old headphones, but at least we won’t get stuck in door handles and risk ripping half our ears off!
If you didn’t have a DSLR in the 2010s you had absolutely no right to be anywhere near Instagram. Even though most of us can’t tell the difference between ISO and ISRO, DSLRs made professional photographers even out of the least creative of us.
Even though most of us can’t tell the difference between ISO and ISRO, DSLRs made professional photographers even out of the least creative of us.
Sure, it may be premature to declare that DSLRs out of our lives — of course, no one is shooting Slumdog Millionaire on a OnePlus just yet — but it’s hard to imagine that amateur photographers will carry around giant cameras in 2020 without ending up looking like an out-of-place tourist from the early 2000s.
On the other hand, phone companies are currently locked in a battle of who can include more clunky lenses on the back of their devices, and figures like 48 megapixels in front cameras no longer surprise us, so there really isn’t much we’ll miss out on without a ₹2 lakh camera. Plus there’s that whole Polaroid comeback situation, which proves no matter how much progress we make, you can’t fight trends.
Surround Sound Speakers
Remember when surround sound speakers were a thing? Seven huge boxes that take over most of your room to give you a “Dolby” sound experience that’s guaranteed to mute all the conversation parts in a movie, but make the room shake during an action sequence — yeah, it’s no wonder not too many people are buying them anymore.
You can just ask Alexa to do all the work for you, including play romantic songs on loop.
What we are buying, these days, are portable speakers that run on bluetooth and can be hidden in a corner of the house until dust collects in all its orifices. Anyone who tells you that these speakers sound “worse” than six giant things and a subwoofer, is probably either lying or have that disorder where they can hear things normal people can’t.
Don’t feel too bad about it though. You can just ask Alexa to do all the work for you, including play romantic songs on loop, instead of spending your time smacking that one speaker that doesn’t work until it makes a crackly sound.
Of course, you could continue to use all of the above devices while they’re still in the market, but now you know that you’re doing so at your own risk — people will mistake your house for a museum, and 22-year-olds you bump into on the road will probably start calling you “Uncle/Aunty”. Instead, we suggest you gracefully embrace the next decade in technology, and buy each part of your earphones individually for a small fee like the rest of us.