I grew up in a different world than the world my kids are growing up in. I look around at the changes and I can’t help but think we are going backwards. I hear something on the radio or see something on T.V. and wonder who thinks up these things? I see the technology available to our children and cringe. I see the way people treat each other and it makes my heart hurt.
The television was limited in my house, but 7 o’clock brought some family friendly sit-com or another that we were allowed to watch if we weren’t outside playing. Reality was still “real life”and not a TV train wreck. 16 and Pregnant was something to be ashamed of, not something to flaunt on MTV. I grew up with Bill Cosby saying the Darndest Things, Will Smith moving to Bel-Air, and Doogie Howser curing patients between his nap times. Andy Griffith was busy being a better mother than I could ever hope to be. Because Family Matters we watched Steve Urkel fall in love with Laura Windslow, and Michelle grow into her Full House.
Cell phones weren’t available to the general public. Text messaging hadn’t been brought up from the hubs of hell yet. We didn’t wait for a message or a phone call to know when it was time to come home. The street lights came one and we knew we had 5 minutes to make it.
Computers were limited to NASA and needed a room of their own. The internet was still a twinkle in Al Gore’s eye. We didn’t have Google or Ask.com, but we had books. Mark Zuckerburg was still poor, and farmers spent more time in the field than on Facebook. Our parents didn’t spend all day pinning delicious recipes only to go grab pizza because they forgot to start supper. We didn’t have tweeps. We had friends.” i” was just a letter and apples were a snack.
Music had words that I could understand, and if I wanted to download a song my fingers had to hit record on the tape player at the exact same time as my ears heard the opening bars on public radio. I learned to dance watching Soul Train and Dance Fever, which, coincidentally is how my friends learned how to LOL. One of the kids in my group of friends had a boom box that was carried around to play all of our homemade tapes. Boy, did the neighbors hate that boom box.
Life wasn’t all peaches and cream. We did stupid things. But we got in trouble. We knew when we did wrong, and we were punished. The only time I got sent to my room to think about what I did was so my mother could calm down enough to spank my butt without killing me. Not only could my Mother legally spank me, but she brought me into this world, by God, she could take me out! And I believed it.
I’m not saying things were perfect where and when I grew up. What I am saying is that parents had some control over their kids. We weren’t exposed to the things my kids are exposed to on prime time television. We didn’t have a world that was against us from the beginning. We still believed in right and wrong. I can honestly say I miss the good old days.