Kids these days, eh? Not only are they brilliant and forging fresh paths into a sort of ‘the future is now’ world, they’re completely unaware of just how connected and clever they are!
When we ponder our own early years, they resemble our kids’ daily lives very, very distantly.
Here’s a bunch of things we want them to know about our own ye olden
days years …
1. We didn’t use the internet
“What do you meeeeeaaaan there was no internet when you were a kid?” our children wail in disbelief. And granted, it does seem unfathomable, kind of like saying there were no cars or there was no electricity. It’s all very horse and carriage dot com.
But even though we missed out on having ideas, answers and information at our fingertips (hello encyclopaedias!), the less busy brains we had back then made up for it.
Perhaps our internet-savvy kids will grow up less universally able to handwrite a beautifully legible letter. But they make up for it in their language skills and their exposure to concepts, places and people we were never privy to.
2. We only listened to a few songs
It is pretty impossible to imagine that when we were kids, we only listened to the music that the radio served up (which could be ABC Classic if you got unlucky in the car with your tired mum on the way home from school!) OR what you had on CD or – gasp! – cassette tape.
Very often our music exploration involved flopping in a beanbag beside our older siblings and trying to make sense of whatever now-retro classic they were going totally nuts for on the TV program, rage.
There was most certainly not millions of tracks at our fingertips – nor handily curated playlists to serve up our favourite tunes.
3. Home was a haven
When we got home, we were cosied up in our our little haven, far from the dramas of school. No internet – and no mobile phones – meant no after-school messaging. No social media pressure. Nobody pestering you or bullying you after-hours, unless they had the courage to phone you up on the landline – which nobody ever did.
When we were kids, home was a place to retreat from the world and slot into the chores and routines that provided a comforting foundation to operate from. The lack of mobile phones and social media meant that our parents knew much more about what was going on in our lives (when we were within their four walls, at least).
There was no clandestine drama and no messaging into the wee hours of the morning and definitely no social media hangovers the next day. I’m sure we slept better, as a result!
4. Collecting things was everything
With way less screen and gaming time and no social media use, we had heaps of times for other things, like collecting! While there’s been a bit of a resurgence when it comes to collecting things of late (hello Woolworths collector cards!) it’s not as ubiquitous as back in the day.
Whether it was Yogioh cards, Beanies, or stickers, collecting seemed to fill the same gap that perhaps gaming does now, as we appreciated, gathered, learned, sorted and discussed whatever the objects of our affection were at the time. The social element you might see in gaming now was perhaps mirrored a little in the chatter and swap of old-school collecting.
5. Multi-tasking was not really invented
Kids today seem to have evolved at pace, adopting skills we never needed to have and having the ability to learn more in a day than we might in a week or more (thanks internet!)
Back then, we worried about not missing the school bus and getting home in time for a honey sandwich – and a few cheeky spoonfuls of Milo fresh from the tin- in front of Round The Twist.
Now, kids are very often being picked up from school, iPad in hand from the get-go, ready to catch up on their favourite show or song or game as they sip their green juice, ask if the meal service delivered today AND remind us it’s our turn to look after the class iguana this weekend.
Back then, the closest we got to multi-tasking was eating a Roll-Up while watching that scene in Matilda when she makes her own breakfast.
Oh yeah, and we were allowed to eat Roll-Ups back then, too.
This post was originally published on 20 April 2018