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Interesting question...

What's going to die out in the next twenty years because the younger generations simply have no attachment to it?

I've been reading this Reddit thread on and off for the past 48 hours; towards the end it repeats a lot as more people just come in going, "cursive" or "cable TV" over and over, but the first, say, 10 subthreads are fascinating. I think my favourite is the wedding china one (I never knew what its historical significance was re: women's personal assets being untouchable in the event of a bankruptcy), but I like the thing about dining rooms too. Certainly, our dining room's dining function is a long way behind the fact that it's also a library whose table is good for working on and using for jigsaws...

The thing with high school reunions is interesting too: increasingly, the difficulty is not in keeping up with people from your past, but avoiding them online...

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
author_by_night
Oct. 2nd, 2016 01:14 am (UTC)
I know the post means dining areas in general, but you know, my entire life I think I've only seen a handful of proper, separate dining rooms. Most houses I've been in either have either a "dining room" that's more of an extension of the kitchen, or just had the kitchen. We sort of have both - we have a kitchen table, but a more formal table for company or holiday dinners. Even then, while we call it the dining room, it's not really a room. So I think dining rooms have been rarer for a while, it's just that the idea is so culturally ingrained we don't consider how few people actually have a room just for dining.

Someone mentioned actively owning your entertainment, and that's an interesting point. I bought a bunch of music on my iPhone, and my iPhone appears to be hijacking said music until I sign up for a 30 day trial, which I'm not going to do because um, I bought it. But that doesn't seem to matter.

(Although I actually wonder if people aren't going to start going towards more basic tech as a result of this. When I can't just listen to a song or easily sync my music, and even trying to make a phone call on my cellphone requires 400 clicks... something's gotta give. I've honestly considered digging out my old portable CD player from 2003.)

cloudsinvenice
Oct. 2nd, 2016 08:48 pm (UTC)
I think separate dining rooms are more common over here because there's so much old housing stock. That said, a lot of people like to knock through the wall between their living and dining rooms, and kitchen extensions to add sofas and make the kitchen into the family hub are very popular.

I remember some people having problems with Apple actually deleting their music collections! It makes me very uneasy and I do prefer to buy CDs that I can upload, though I do buy mp3s now and again. When our external DVD-RW died recently, I asked around about a replacement and a friend talked about having actually got rid of her DVD collection in favour of subscribing to various streaming services. I do want to get Netflix, but I'd be really uneasy about not having physical copies of my favourites. It just seems so easy for terms of use to change, or companies to go under... it wouldn't surprise me if more people did favour more basic tech in order to take back some control.
semyaza
Oct. 2nd, 2016 09:08 pm (UTC)
You could try the torrents rather than Netflix unless you'd rather not go that route.
cloudsinvenice
Oct. 3rd, 2016 07:53 am (UTC)
I'm inclined to avoid the torrents because despite multiple explanations I still can't quite get my head around it. I'll probably succumb at some point for things that can't be got in any other way, but what I meant was more that I'll keep buying physical copies of certain special things.
semyaza
Oct. 3rd, 2016 08:14 am (UTC)
I prefer physical copies too which is why I don't use streaming services. My cable company had a streaming service for a couple of years but it's just gone belly up. I buy films and the occasional TV series if they're important. I download from a few websites that provide me with anime and Asian films and TV in HD and I put them on disc or flash drive as well as external hard drive because I'm anal about backing up. I don't use the torrents but my brother does and he's supplied me with things I couldn't get elsewhere. And there's always Youtube which I've been able to download a lot of stuff from.
semyaza
Oct. 2nd, 2016 09:08 am (UTC)
It's best not to stick one's neck out. Anyone who said 'vinyl records' thirty years ago (as my brother did while showing me his shiny new CD player) would have been wrong. Wedding china is already decades gone and I wouldn't be surprised if it came back (given how much interest there is on Pinterest in china in general). Cable TV - definitely. Desktop computers - but that's obvious.

I'm not sure about dining rooms. That may be cultural rather than generational. My niece married into a vast Sicilian family and the entertaining is constant. That necessitates dining rooms (and, I suppose, china).

I'll say Christmas cards.
cloudsinvenice
Oct. 2nd, 2016 08:56 pm (UTC)
I've a feeling you're right about wedding china - at least, I think the physical objects will always retain their appeal, and the idea of collecting something over a number of years is very satisfying for a lot of people. It might just be that people get more into secondhand collections - so many couples' first home is a flat these days that I suspect china fans will get into it later on when they have more space to store things used for best.

I think the function of a dining room has often dissipated into a kitchen extension these days - a lot of people seem to have a sofa in there, and/or a dining table. One advantage is that you're not taken away from your guests to see to the food; I suspect that has a lot to do with it, and in theory it gives people more room to sit (or circulate, at a buffet) than a traditional dining room.

I hate to say it, but the Christmas card thing is probably true - I know a good few people my age and younger who don't send them (or stick to a few nearby/elderly relatives) simply because they can't afford to. You can always find cheap cards, but postage these days is a killer. I also saw a discussion on Money Saving Expert recently where various people talked about having non-card/present exchange agreements with family and friends. Of course, a forum for people who like to save money is a self-selecting group, and a very cash-strapped generation might also not be representative.

But it may be that social media has played a part - perhaps people valued Christmas cards more when they were a once-a-year connection with someone, whereas the sorts of people you'd have that connection with are now on your Facebook.
semyaza
Oct. 2nd, 2016 09:41 pm (UTC)
Twenty years ago it was a matter of no one being interested in buying and owning china dinner services. I think the rot set in much earlier because that's how I came by my vintage Wedgwood service in the '70s. The owner's daughter didn't want it. At that time there was a move towards earthenware. Now I think it's more a question of women not collecting household linens and other items before marriage - because they don't marry or they marry late by which time they have everything they need as was the case with my niece.

Completely separate dining rooms belong to the early part of the last century but it wasn't until the 80s - at least here - that the dining room ceased to be a discrete space of some sort and became an extension of the family room or living room. It remained separate in the sense that you would have the dining room furniture at one end of the space and other furniture at the other end but it was one space.

My current house was built in 2000. The living room and dining room are separated by stairs (with a pony wall on either side of them) and there's a wall between the kitchen and the dining room but with an open entrance. I like this arrangement because I don't want to be anywhere near my guests when I'm in the kitchen. My impression from looking at other houses in this area is that 'open plan' is a little less open plan than it used to be. The dining room may be on a different level (as in my brother's house which he built in the mid-90s) or set off at an angle or separated by decorative woodwork (very arts & crafts).

Sending cards takes time and most people don't have it. I'm not sure what part FB plays. No one in my family is active on FB and none of them send cards. :D
cloudsinvenice
Oct. 3rd, 2016 08:12 am (UTC)
Oh, I like the pony wall idea! Nice way to preserve a feeling of spaciousness while still creating a useful barrier. Suddenly remembering that the (probably 60s) house I lived in as a toddler had a serving hatch between the kitchen and the dining-room-end-of-the-living-room/dining-room/thing...
semyaza
Oct. 4th, 2016 09:17 am (UTC)
I had a friend in London whose townhouse, built in the 60s, had a serving hatch with glass doors.
j_okay
Oct. 2nd, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
Very interesting! I honestly never knew how wedding china worked (pick out a pattern? okay....). I suppose in my mind it was already a long-gone tradition, but I think department stores still have areas devoted to wedding china. Always on the top floor where nobody goes, hah.

I love how someone in the dining room thread mentioned D&D and taple-top gaming. XD Indeed very useful for that.

And I think those who said 'cable tv' are just drunk on wishful thinking. Those companies are way too profitable (read "evil") to go away anytime soon. :(
cloudsinvenice
Oct. 2nd, 2016 08:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've heard about how the business works over there, and I'm not very impressed with the cable/phone/ISP companies here either. In theory you have lots of choice. In practice, only a couple of companies in our area (i.e., the capital city of NI) are offering decent wifi speeds, and they both charge through the nose for it. Our ISP has actually just announced a massive price hike. I resent all the "only £15 a month for six months!... then we hike it to £45" offers; I'd rather pay £25 a month from the get-go and have it stay that way. But the whole business model is based around new customers, so it's all about luring people from the competition and then jacking up the prices once they're established.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )