It’s come to my attention that there are a lot of posts floating about social networking sites like the following:
“ We are the last generation who learned to play in the street, we are the 1st who’ve played video games, and were the last to record songs off the radio on cassettes and we are the pioneers of walkmans and chat rooms. We learned how to program the VCR before anyone else, play with the Atari, Super Nintendo and believed that the Internet would be a free world. We are the generation of the Thunder Cats, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Saved by the Bell, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. We traveled in cars without seat belts or airbags. Lived without mobile phones. We did not have 99 television stations, flat screens, surround sound, mp3s, iPods, Facebook, Twitter, computers and the Internet but nevertheless we had a GREAT Time!! Repost this if you were born in the 70s/80s!”
Am I the only one that reads stuff like this and thinks “Woop de f***ing do?!” (That’s sarcastic by the way.) Let me pick a few holes in this example . . . oh go on let me!
- “We are the last generation who learned to play in the street.” Bollocks. I always see kids playing out. There are several on their bikes outside my house even as I write this.
- “ . . . the last generation to record songs off the radio on cassettes” Thank God! How tedious was that? And the radio DJ would always interrupt anyway and spoil the end.
- “We traveled in cars without seat belts or airbags.” Or in other words ”We had a higher death rates on the roads! Yey!”
- “We are the generation of Saved By The Bell” . . . ??? . . . You’re not helping your cause with this. Really.
Yes – we had cool stuff, but couldn’t every generation pick out the best bits? Should Facebook or blogging have been around, would my Nan’s version of this be “We are the last generation to have coal fires in class rooms, we are the first to have diesel locomotives . . . we are the last to play music on a gramophone . . . we didn’t have a TV, a BMX, computers, supermarkets or bananas but nevertheless we had a GREAT Time!! (Well, till Hitler came along anyway, but that’s a whole other status update.)” ?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia. Why only last week I stumbled upon the Rainbow Brite theme tune on Youtube and it made me feel all – well you know – nostalgic. But I fear we may be in danger of convincing ourselves that our own offspring’s childhood cannot possibly come close to the golden bubble of perfectness that was our own. Come on people there ARE good things about raising kids in this era – and I dare say that in the future, Mr Tumble, Angry Birds, hybrid cars and MP3 will be nostalgically regurgitated by our 20/30 something year old children on techno devises I can’t even imagine.
In summary, let’s cast our minds back to when we were teens: that exasperating, eye-rolling moment when a parent/grandparent began a sentence with “In my day . . . “
Surely with all this “Child of the 70s/80s” stuff we’re just doing the same thing? . . . BEWARE people. We are becoming a modern – social networking version of THIS (go on – click it) and we’re not even realising it!