If you want a song to stand the test of time, don't put technology-related lyrics in them.
Or if you are going to use technology-related terms, be careful not to be too specific about the technology. Lemon has plenty of technological lyrics but they have withstood the test of time by being very nonspecific.
Saying "a man makes a picture" was timeless. Saying "a man makes a beta/tape" would not have been.
Points taken, very well-said from both of you and gives me a clearer understanding of why these lyrics make me cringe.
Being a big fan of The Police, I have heard some of their bootlegs and also that of Sting in solo concerts. There is a line in the song Can't Stand Losing You where it says "my LP records and they're all scratched." It was eventually morphed to "my cd collection and they're all scratched."
I think it may be permissible to put era-related, tech-related-that-may-be-obsolete references in lyrics if they are not in the main part or chorus of the song, such as The Killers chorus of "I don't want your picture on my celphone" or U2's "Force quite, move to trash."
Prominent/chorus era-specific references in songs are good for top 40 pop-artists as it can make the whole teen generation of disposable music lovers listen. But for a band like U2, whose top 40 singles days have long been way behind then and who have been known for universal/vague lyrics where songs take lives of their own and meanings evolve - their current state of lyric-writing is getting to be quite un-U2 and is a downward spiral.
But if Bono were to keep writing in his known style, people would also blast U2 for having only one-trick and not evolving lyrically. It was logical for Bono to try something different, which he did in NLOTH. The band is known for evolution and not remaining stagnant. But the lyrical state of that album shows that Bono's writing did not "evolve" and that his something different was a turn for the worse. It is ok to change styles or morph, but what it turned out in NLOTH was pretty bad. The lyrics in the subsequent songs - Mercy and North Star are also cringeworth. Would it mean that U2 are out of lyrical ideas? Or they have totally lose their natural instinct to "evolve" in the right path lyrically and have hit the point of stagnation and decline?