A Sign of Our Times

I’ve discovered yet another thing that our child (and the rest of what Rob calls Generation Z) will never know during Liam’s visit to the optometrist last week.

Until now his eye exams have consisted of the doctor pretty much just shining a light through a prism into his eyes, seeing how his pupils react, and making an educated guess about the prescription needed to correct his vision. Back when Liam was 2, the doctor explained to us that with young children he couldn’t do any type of formal exam but he would be able to get better readings the older that he got. Well, with this visit, he got Liam to read a symbol chart.

Instead of the standard E’s pointing each direction chart, what’s used for toddlers and pre-K kids is a picture chart like the one below: (sorry about the image quality, it’s the best I could find on the web):

Childrens vision test picture chart

The doctor asked about the first symbol and Liam identified it as a cake. When asked how many candles, he correctly answered “3.” So far, so good.

But when the doc started on the second row, he asked about the first symbol and Liam said it was a shirt with a pocket. That’s when it hit me — Liam has no reference to know that symbol is an old-style telephone. All the phones he’s ever seen are either cordless or cell phones. I mentioned this to my friend who works at the doctor’s office and she said most kids call the telephone symbol a shirt.

I’m always amazed by things like this because it makes me wonder what else will have no meaning to our future generations.

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