18 Through the Years

In today’s generation, turning eighteen is one of the most significant moments in a teenager’s life. Not only one can vote but more often than not, most teens go off to college which is a very well-known as a huge transition from living under their parents’ roof to being on their own in order to get degree in their desired major. Now, this process seem very common in today’s day but has it always been that way?

In the year 1705, digital technology was not even an existing word so how did people try to capture and remember their most cherished memories? Today, the process is very easy since all one has to do is take a phone out and snap a picture. People from that era were more sophisticated despite the fact that the way they did it was very time consuming. Parmigianino, an Italian painter from an earlier era, painted self-portraits on convex mirror to represent himself. (Rettberg 1) Since there was no trace of digital technology by then, most people would draw or paint a self-portrait to represent themselves. If I were 18 in this era, I would most likely be working in a factory kind of firm with machines rather than having animals do the work. I would also play the piano about two years after that since it was created in 1709 by Bartolomeo Cristofori and I will be able to print flyers for piano lessons and post them around town for a little bit of money. (Bellis 1) Because self-representation is very important, I would ask for someone to paint a picture of me to hang on my wall or I would write diary entries. (Rettberg 1)

In 1805, Thomas Jefferson was elected as president for his second term. In this period of time, having slaves were very common among landowner white men. Thomas Jefferson,  who opposed the slavery of Africans, inherited slaves from his father and father-in-law and only free a few of them. (“Thomas Jefferson, A Brief Biography.”)  Gabriel Prosser, an enslaved blacksmith, protested into freeing all slaves in Richmond, Virginia but things did not turn out well for him and the “rebels” and it was believed that they were hanged. (“History of Slavery in America.”) Protesting was one form of expressing one’s feelings on something. It might not have been as common considering the consequences were life-treathening but it was the beginning of people realizing what was wrong and fighting for what they believed in. If I were 18 in this time period, I would most likely be supportive of Prosser’s protest but I will be a little hesitant in participating due to the consequences.

Fast forward to 1905, things change pretty fast over the centuries and making calls from home to home was very rare but doable. 8% of US homes had telephones and those who wish to make calls would have to ask them. A phone call from Denver to New York costs eleven dollars per three minutes. (“Facts From 100 Years Ago.”) When it comes to health care, 90% of the doctors did not have a college degree and thus, simply save a patient from their own resources and knowledge. The life expectancy was 47 years old. (“Facts From 100 Years Ago.”) If I were 18 and living in this era, I might work in a small business earning an average wage of twenty two cents per hour. (“Facts From 100 Years Ago.”) Despite the lack of degree among doctors, I would not complain about the healthcare I would get because at the time, it was probably the best quality one can get. I would be able to call my mother every other weekend to reminisce and make business calls.

By year 2005, people were more aware of the existence of the Internet and its many wonders after it was created in the late 1900s. Among those wonder came MySpace which is a social networking website that allows individuals to share photos, music and meet new people on. Bands interacting with their fans and promoting their music on the website was also very common as they sponsored the website as well. (Roeder 1) An earlier social networking website, Friendster, was created in 2002 and paired up with MySpace shortly after it was launched and immensely helped its growth very quickly and for Friendster to slowly die down. (Ellison 1) If I were 18 in this time period, I would most likely have a MySpace and share my photos and music on there. I would try to interact with my favorite from then which were Coldplay and Destiny’s Child.

Works Cited

Bellis, Mary. “Timeline and Inventions of the 18th Century.” 18th Century Timeline 1700 – 1799. About.com, n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

Ellison, Nicole B. “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship.” Wiley Online Library. N.p., Oct. 2007. Web. 30 Aug. 2015.

“Facts From 100 Years Ago.” Bill and Rae’s. raesmith, n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

“History of Slavery in America.” Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

Rettberg, Jill Walker. “Seeing Ourselves Through Technology.” EBook Product : Palgrave Connect. N.p., Oct. 2014. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

Roeder, Linda. “What Is MySpace?” About Tech. About.com, n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

“Thomas Jefferson, A Brief Biography.” Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.