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FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK: Fanny packs and text message signatures

Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 10:05 am

What is “cool” or “in style” is all subjective.

For instance – it’s 2017 and I have a fanny pack. That’s just how I roll – like it’s 1992.

Actually, it’s just how I “run” – it’s an ultra-thin fanny pack made for runners – perfect place to put my phone and my keys. Slips right under my shirt and you would never know it was there if not for my shameful confession.

Holly tried to convince me that fanny packs were back in style when she bought this one for me. She even took a free one and wore it to convince me. Although I’m figuring out that she donned that “Full House” style garb for about one day and she has conveniently “lost it.” But that was enough, I’m hooked and I don’t care if you think it’s cool or not.

By Josh Peterson, publisher

That led me down a rabbit hole of things that came in and went out of style far faster than the fanny pack. Technology has sped up that trend. Think about Myspace. Where did that go? It was the social media place to be for about one year. No offense to anyone who still maintains a Myspace profile, but go and tell someone to check out your Myspace page and see what kind of look you get.

Remember when having the perfect “text message signature” was all the hype? This is a topic that may fall flat because it only targets a small demographic – my older readers are already lost and my younger readers are in the same boat. But for folks who came up in the dawn of texting like I did, you had to have the perfect signature to declare where you were in your life as you closed out every text message. For instance, mine today should be something like this: *-_- Jo$h n’ Holly 4 eva-_-*

Or perhaps I would declare my fandom with this little number: **#VolsForLife#**

Why the characters? I don’t even know. That’s just what people did.

Then, just like that, text signatures were gone. It’s almost as if we woke up one day and nobody had them anymore. No offense to those of you who still take great pride in signing off each text message with a great personal note, but it has been put away with the fanny pack.

Then there is the ringback tone – also buried with the fanny pack. Granted this one is dying a much slower death. I’ve noticed people still have these. My grandpa has one (although I’m not sure he knows he has it). That used to be the must have. You had to invest $1 to be sure that when people called you they knew without a doubt you bled Tennessee orange by the unmistakable notes of “Rocky Top.”

I don’t want to think about things that could be gone tomorrow. It’s harder to keep up in my old age.

–Josh Peterson is the publisher of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the publisher’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column and best personal column. The National Newspaper Association named him “Top 30 Under 30” of newspaper professionals in 2016. He can be reached by email jpeterson@manchestertimes.com or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29