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Careful—that’s an antique you’ve got there.
Generation Y may have spent their youth ridiculing arcane, short-lived entertainment tech like Betamax and 8-track stereos, but even Spotify-addicted 20-somethings will feel their age when watching kids of the 21st century struggle to comprehend a Sony Walkman.
With a virtually limitless library of portable music now available to anyone with a smartphone, the idea of paying $200 for a clunky device that requires headphones, cassette tapes, and a clairvoyant sense of fast forward/rewind speeds does feel like a bit of a “ripoff,” most respondents agreed. Though as one astute young man points out, the iPad costs quite a bit more, and there’s still a lot of screen-clicking between you and your favorite song.
Sure, they handle the outdated gadget as expertly as you or I would a cotton gin, but you know something? If I hadn’t been forced to record my favorite Smashing Pumpkins songs off FM radio, I doubt I would have had the patience to master the Walkman myself. Can’t say I miss untangling all that magnetic tape, either.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'