At this point, technology is evolving so quickly that one generation’s life changing breakthroughs are the next generation’s confounding relics. This is both incredibly depressing–technological obsolescence reminds adults that they will die alone and in agony a few decades after somewhere half their age takes their job–and pretty funny. With an eye toward humor, a UK father recently gave his kids some cassette tapes and asked them to figure out how to listen to them. It didn’t go great for the kids, but the video is excellent. Let’s just say it went well for the internet.
Father of three James Crane discovered his old box of cassette tapes at his parents’ house then handed one over to his three kids, aged 12, 10 and 9. In the ensuing struggle, thankfully captured on video and scouted by The Daily Mail, the kids do everything from asking where the “on” button is to trying to holding it up to their ear like a phone. Crane eggs his kids along, asking if they think the tape needs batteries or perhaps needs headphones? His kids are confused, but still full of sick burns: When his daughter asks, “maybe you put it into a TV?” one of his sons responds, dryly “no, they didn’t have TV back then.”
While cassettes certainly seem like a relic of bygone days, sales rose 74 percent in 2016. Interesting, too, is the fact that, per Forbes, National Audio Company, one of the last companies to still produce tapes, claims it produced more than 10 million tapes in 2014 and that the number was estimated to increase in 2016. Now, that 74 percent increase in sales only amounted to 129,000 tapes sold, but all of this information does signal to some that, much like vinyl, tapes are having a hipsterified comeback. Either way, if you decide to hand kids a properly curated 10-track mixtape, prepare for them to be confused as to how, exactly, this iPod-esque device works. Things have certainly changed.