Northwestern Press

Sunday, January 26, 2020


Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by The Press in Opinion

Mourning the end of bar soap and more

This is not an obituary. Nor is it a political commentary.

This Editor’s View mourns the death of things I and many others grew up with, including bar soap and top sheets.

Yes, that’s right. According to a recent news article, Generation Z individuals born between 1995 and 2010 and millennials born between 1981 and 1996 are changing the world as we know it — for those individuals have stated they no longer use bar soap, only liquid soap. And, they don’t use top sheets.

Top sheets? Will a sheet set soon only come with a fitted sheet and pillowcases?

I happen to have two sons who are in each of these categories.

After a brief interview with them recently, they remembered activities that have gone by the wayside already: rushing to the video store to rent or return VHS movies, reading the TV Guide to check on television show times, listening to dial-up Internet, fiddling with the VCR, using encyclopedias to look up interesting facts and do homework, using a telephone book to look up friends’ telephone numbers, having an answering machine with a tape that recorded messages, talking to friends on AOL Instant Messenger, using a floppy disk and waiting a long time for a file to download.

I am in the baby boomer category of individuals born between 1946 and 1964. Some of those things listed above I don’t mind going away.

On a recent drive to Georgia, my Generation Z son was appalled I printed out directions via Map Quest.

He said it wasn’t necessary because we would use Waze or Maps on our cellphones. My explanation was the printout was a backup in case we didn’t have cell service. It seemed logical to me.

More disturbing revelations from my sons were enough to raise my blood pressure.

My Generation Z son said his generation streams everything. They don’t use CDs or DVDs. They do not store anything on CDs or DVDs — everything is saved on the iCloud.

Where is this cloud? We all want to know.

My youngest predicts the death of the television as we know it. His generation watches everything on iPhones, laptops and tablets.

I remember the days we would sit around the television as a family and watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” which, by the way, will air on ABC 8 p.m. Oct. 18.

For the love of God, why would I want to huddle around an iPhone to watch this show?

My youngest also said they don’t use storage bags or plastic storage containers. They throw out leftovers. What? I never taught him to be like that!

He said they don’t like things; they like experiences. I’ll give him experiences!

He said he doesn’t know telephone numbers. They are all stored in his phone. I wonder if he knows my number.

He loves to shop for health food and organic food. I say, if you can afford it, go for it.

His concern is for the environment. He said his generation only has 10 years to fix the climate; after that, it will be too late. Fix it, please.

One article I read said the younger generation doesn’t like napkins. They apparently will be going away as well. They use paper towels.

Both my boys said they use their sleeves. God, help me. Hopefully, they were kidding.

The younger generation doesn’t like writing thank-you notes. Both said they only wrote notes because I made them.

My millennial son said no one has or needs doorbells anymore. They just text a person and tell them they are outside of their house.

Another article I read said our children will not want our “things” when we die.

It got me thinking about the shoe shine brushes I have saved for my boys. They belonged to my grandfather, and I remember he and my father shining their shoes. Does anyone do that anymore? Probably something else that will go away.

What will this current generation do when they get a scuff on their shoes? Throw them out?

All of this boils down to this fact: My generation and my parents’ generation, the silent generation — those born between 1928 and 1945 — will need to adapt to live in this new evolving world.

If you have resisted computers, iPhones, laptops and social media, it may be the only way you will be able to connect and converse with your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

We are going to have to “up our skills” with technology. My children are my technical support at this point. Technology is changing so rapidly — what will I do in 10 years?

In fact, those who identify as Generation Z have never known a world without the Internet, smartphones, Wi-Fi or Google.

I remember Skyping when it first came out. I believe this has been replaced with FaceTime, which works great when I want to connect with my son away at college, my millennial son and other family members.

With the disappearance of more and more physical stores, more folks will need to shop online for the items they need. Just be smart about using your credit card online.

For me, I will adapt as much as I can to stay connected to my family. However, I will stand firm in keeping my top sheet and my television.

And I will be watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on my television with my dog.

Debbie Galbraith


East Penn Press

Salisbury Press