Bob B. Brown/Flickr

Kids struggle to use a Sony Walkman, make the rest of us feel terribly old

It takes far too long for them to get it to play the cassette tape.


Josh Katzowitz

Internet Culture

Published Nov 16, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 3:40 pm CDT

The Sony Walkman was the coolest thing on the planet when it debuted in 1979 for a cool $150. As more and more music fans gave up their records and turntables for the convenience of cassette tapes and portable music players, the Walkman became the paragon of technology and cool.

Kids today—with their iPods that can hold tens of thousands of songs and their streaming music services that they can access anywhere they want—don’t understand this.

No, literally, they don’t understand. Like, they can’t figure out how to get a tape into a Walkman and play it.

“We found an old walkman and tapes from the 80s,” Lena Hyde, who uploaded this YouTube video, explained in the description. “My kids had no idea what to do with it!”

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It’s hard to tell if it really, truly took these young gentlemen more than a minute to figure out how to insert the cassette tape into the Walkman, or if the video is filled with a bit of fakery. 

Still, this is a good reminder of how attached we once were to the Walkman—I absolutely wore out the Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I and II tapes on long family car trips to Florida—and of the fact that its continued existence is merely a source of amusement for kids today (and NOT because they’re listening to my old Jerky Boys albums).

Next up for these young bucks: figuring out how to keep the Discman from skipping every 10 seconds.

Photo via Bob B. Brown/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)

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*First Published: Nov 16, 2015, 6:13 pm CST