Thursday, April 15, 2010

Things I Love--A Good Laugh and Deep Thoughts

Dear American Youth,

 When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up--what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... BOTH ways ... in the snow... Yadda, yadda, yadda 

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of junk like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!    

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.  You've got it so easy!  I mean, compared to my childhood, they live in a Utopia!    

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it! 
  • When I was a kid we didn't have the Internet.  If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue.  Do you even know what the Dewey Decimal system is?   
  • There was no email!  We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen and paper.   Then we 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!  
  • Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us.  As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to spank me! Nowhere was safe! 
  • There were no MP3's or Napsters!  If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself.  And if you wanted to buy just one song, too bad.  No ITunes.  We had to buy whole albums just for one song. 
  • Or we had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up!  There were no CD players!  We had tape decks in our car.  We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished.  Sometimes the tape would come undone.
  • We didn't have Call Waiting.  If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal.  No kidding. And we didn't have 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.
  • There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends!"  Think of the horror.  Instead of texting, we passed notes.
  • We didn't have Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics.  We had the Atari 2600 with games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'.  Our guy was a little square.  We actually had to use our imaginations!  And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... FOREVER!  And you could never win.  The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!  Just like LIFE! 
  • You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on. Channel surfing?  Forget it.  Every time we wanted to change the channel we had to get out of our seats.  Really.  There were NO remotes. 
  • 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!
That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.  You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes prior to 1980.
The Over 30 Crowd  
Okay, that's good for a laugh but then I got to thinking about all the ways I had it BETTER than kids do today.
  • Cell phones mean that parents can keep dibs on their kids all the time.  And talk about a carrot and stick approach to parenting (if you don't shape up I'll take away your phone!).  My folks had to be a lot more creative!
  • Sexual predators had to do a lot more than contact me on a social networking site.
  • My parents never had to worry that I'd see full-frontal nudity or hear cuss words on regular TV programming.
  • The United States had never been attacked on our homeland in my teen lifetime.
So while it is true kids might have some things easier--do they have more trials than we do?

What's your vote?  Who has/had it easier--them (under 30) or us (over 30s)?  Specific examples encouraged!


  1. Seriously laughed out loud at the first part of this post. :) I'm in between. I'm 27 so I can relate to some of these. I remember our first caller-id and I remember having a TV with no remote. I also remember my brother & I recording a message on our answering machine singing "I'm too sexy for my phone, too sexy for my leave a message at the tone." (Do you know what song I'm referring to?)My first video game was Super Mario Bros though...although Duck HUnt is pretty old school now. Matt is old so he can probably relate more to these.

    Another difference ---my parents always read the paper and encouraged me to. Our kids won't have that because we read all our news online. Although I have recently thought about subscribing to a paper because I honestly prefer it...just haven't wanted to spend the money. Probably will when the kids are older.

    ON to the serious stuff...We were just discussing this a few months ago. How our kids are going to be dealing with so many different issues than we did as a kid. One example we particularly discussed was texting/sexting pictures, etc. There was a big deal about this in the Laramie high school and it just made me feel sick to think about. It is so important for parents to stay culturally aware of what is going on & educate their kids about such things. Who knows what it will be in ten years when Eli is in jr high. Ahhh...I don't like thinking about it and just want him to stay an innocent baby forever. I know...not gonna happen! ;)

    I know there are a million other examples but that is the first one I thought of.

    Good post!

  2. Just re-read my comment and wasn't calling anybody over 30 old...I just tease Matt & call him old because he turned 30 this year. haha! :)

  3. @Shelly--Thanks for the example. More importantly, thanks for clarifying that you don't think the young 30ish crowd is old (I was prepared to drive over the hill! Ha ha!)

  4. Yeah, I'm in the under 30 crowd as well, but I didn't have any of those fancy gadgets either!

    I don't really know who has it easier, but I know I'm scared to death to let my kids use internet or get them cell phones and I'm sure that sucks for them since everywhere you turn kids have these things.

    I was a sheltered child and I think my life was pretty easy. I think things are more complicated now. Kids are getting their hearts broken through text messaging now. Who am I kidding, adults are too...I think this is insane and out of control.
    Great post!

    By the way, I have a blog award for you on my blog!

  5. Cartoon network...cartoon shmetnerk...we had bugs bunny, the road runner and pepe le pew (whom by the way is an eerily familiar character...that is always chasing after and pining over a certain little kitty only to find himself empty handed after she prys herself out of his grasp to leave him unsuspectingly kissing a mop). Anyway, what was I talking about? Now I am confused. Nevermind.

  6. LMBO!! This was a fanastic post that had me rolling! Oh how I relate!!!

    I think my kids have it TONS EASIER than I ever did. For one, they live with their mom and dad in a loving home - my parents were divorced and it wasn't Candy Land at EITHER house for many years.

    Two, they have two calm parents... strict, but calm. No spankings, but definitely discipline and punishment if necessary. I remember getting hit with all sorts of objects if I even thought about acting up.

    Three, they have more opportunties. My parents didn't have money at all until I was a teen - and my hubby and I do well financially so our kids do get to do things like dance, go on trips, etc. Not that those are necessary things but I ALWAYS longed to do things like that. Our kids never worry about money.. ever.

    I do think that the two harder things for them will be drugs and sex. It was already getting bad when I graduated.. but man.. it's so much worse now. With cell phones, internet, etc.. it's so hard for them to not have temptation EVERYWHERE and it's hard as parents to keep tabs on your kids.

  7. I am also in the under 30 crowd, I'm 27, but I think we'd had an easier and more simple life. Chris and I always talk about how when we were kids all we wanted to do was play outside and just be kids. We didn't care at least until we were older, what we wore or what gadgets we had. Nowadays all kids want to do is play their video games, or watch their kid shows. They have or want $80 jeans at the age of 6! I think that our kids are always connected kinda stinks, they never just have time to be a kid. When I was a kid we didn't lock the doors or windows, now before I go to bed I make sure everything is locked. We could play in the yard without our parents hovering over us. I make sure there is always an adult with Belle, even when she's in our fenced backyard. So even though kids these days have "better" technology, I think we had it easier. I also think that in a way the "better" technology has made a lot of kids lazy and unappreciative.


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