Black rotary telephone

What is your personal soundscape—the combination of sounds that surround you? Does the sound of basketballs bouncing and kids running and shouting fill your ears after school? Or are you more likely to hear your own pencil scratching away at math homework while younger siblings make too much noise playing downstairs? Either way, chances are you can’t even imagine a daily life that doesn’t feature the sound of cell phones ringing and vibrating, laptop keys clacking, and remote entry devices unlocking car doors with a click.

Your parents probably had a very different childhood soundscape. They might remember the sound of rotary dial phones, the songs from the movie Grease, or the blips of the early videogames Pong and Space Invaders. They might even have used typewriters instead of computers. Ask them about the sounds they remember best!

Spend a day paying attention to your own personal childhood soundscape. Which sounds do you think future generations might still hear? And which sounds might not survive the test of time?

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