kids today

They Had It So Easy

on February 5, 2010

Everyone grew up hearing the stories about how are parents had it so much harder when they were kids. Trudging to school through the snow, uphill both ways, past the bully with the penchant for inflicting wedgies, and the old man on the corner who threw shoes at kids who dared step on his lawn. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

They may have had it harder as kids, but they had it a hell of a lot easier as parents. I’m facing issues with my ten year old my parents never would have had to face. When I was five years old, I rode the bus home from kindergarten around noon and stayed home alone for the next couple hours every day. That’s FIVE years old. And I wasn’t locked safely in the house. I was running around the neighborhood and down at the creek. There was no fear someone would drive by and snatch me away.

These days, I hate every moment my daughter goes out to play and I can’t see her. I live in a very safe part of town, but the reality is, you can never be too safe.

There was no such thing as video games until I was somewhere in my pre-teen years. And even then, it was Pong. Remember Pong? No blood flying in this game. Nothing but a blip on the screen flying in this game. Now, gamer is a profession and the games they play require them to kill people or commit Federal offenses. Today, kids are interacting with people all over the planet, some of whom are more interested in luring them into a dark alley than helping them save their villagers.

Even something as simple as an iPod requires constant policing. My kiddo wanted an App that would allow her to adopt a pet, give it a name, and take care of it. Sounds innocent, right? Not quite. This App opened her up to communications from all the other users. When I found messages from someone called “Sexy Blond Looking 4 a Good Time”, the App was removed.

I haven’t even gotten to the teenage years yet! My parents had it SO EASY. Our worlds were tiny, our universes miniscule and limited. Boundaries no longer exist. The protective bubble in which we were lucky enough to develop has been popped.

So you tell me, is progress really such a great thing? Is no boundaries better than safety and protection? I would never suggest shielding our children from reality, but I’d feel a whole lot better if I could place some invisible force-field around mine. And I’d save a lot of money in hair color.

Looking Back

on October 9, 2008

Like everyone else, I get a ton of random stuff in my email. Most of the time, I read it, smile, chuckle, sigh or growl and then delete. But the one I got today hit a nerve.

You see, I’m the mother of a nine year old in this crazy age of technology. Which means I’m well aware of how different the times are from when I was nine. Since I grew up quite poor, the difference is astronomical. I can relate to every word in the following bit, and I’m guessing so can most everyone who stops by here. I thought it would be fun to post the following with my own commentary.

A Rant (by anyone over 30)

I hate to say it, but you kids today don’t know how good you’ve got it….

I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!! (Have kids today ever seen an encyclopedia? We got hernias trying to carry those things around!)

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! (And we had to spell out all the words too!)

There were no MP3s or Napsters! Hey, you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ’d usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! (I made so many tapes this way.)

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that’s it! (My father would have less gray hair today if we’d have had call waiting. And I would have gotten in a lot less trouble!)

And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn’t know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister! (Can you even imagine not looking at a caller ID before answering today?)

We didn’t have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had Pong and the Atari 2600! With games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Asteroids’. Your guy was… a little square!! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or
screens– it was just one screen. Forever! (I never owned a video game system in my life. Still haven’t. But oh how I envied that kid two houses down that had Atari.)

And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE, damn it!! (I’m not sure who originally wrote all this but the bitterness is really setting in right here.)

Oh, and you had to use a Little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on ‘The Tube’, not your Plasma! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing… you had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel! (Another thing that drove my dad nuts as we had to see what was playing on MTV during EVERY commercial break.) There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you Hear what I’m saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn’t have microwaves; if we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove. Imagine that! (Never had a microwave until I was nearly out of high school. We won’t even mention how long the VCR took.)

You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled. You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

So, anyone relate? LOL!