The other day Charlotte noticed a book icon on our house phone and asked why there was a story on it. I laughed and said it was the built-in phonebook, and then realized that she had no idea what a phonebook was.
We have not kept paper phone books in our house for probably ten years or more. Every time someone drops one on our doorstep, we either give it away or recycle it. The internet has long been a much more reliable and faster way to look up numbers.
So I had to explain that a phonebook was a book with names and phone numbers. Charlotte looked puzzled for a moment and then comprehension dawned. Her school publishes a printed phone directory every year. She knew what the "buzz book" was.
Our kids have never known a time when TV shows were limited by a fixed time schedule. They have never known a phone with a cord. They have never seen a copy of the Yellow Pages in the house. They would have no idea what photo film is, or understand why they can't see a picture two seconds after it is taken. They have talked via Skype to my grandmother in Nebraska. Even the family fridge calendar is being obsoleted this year by the magic of Google online and on my husband's and my phones. School permission slips are sent in pdf format by email. My sisters and I collaborate on gifts with the help of PayPal and online shopping.
We are still missing the flying cars, but life is starting to feel more like the Jetsons every day.