All Those ‘Good Old Days’ Memes on Facebook Are Lies
I don't know what has happened to my Facebook feed recently, but I keep seeing variations on the above meme popping up. If it was only being shared by the Baby Boomers in my life it wouldn't be as surprising, but I'm seeing it more and more from my fellow Gen X's. From people like me who were born in the 70's and grew up in the 80's and 90's.
I don't know what these people are talking about. What magical pre-tech era are they nostalgic for? They seem to have forgotten what life was like as a kid in the 80's. They also have forgotten a simple truth when comparing 'Kids Today' with 'When We Were Kids.' If there were Smartphones and the internet when we were 10, we would have for sure been on them.
I don't know where these people live but, there are still plenty of kids outside. You'll see them when you're not sharing stale joke memes online. As soon as the temperature reaches the 20 my neighborhood is taken over by offspring on bikes. The traffic in my residential neighbourhood can get ridiculous in the summer because the parks near us are always full. There are kids out and about all day and into the night. The only reason we were told to be home when the streetlights came on was because our parents couldn't text us to come home.
If the iPhone had debuted in 1986 instead of 2007, we would have been watch the Berlin Wall fall on our phones, our earbuds would be streaming "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and, we'd all be playing the mobile Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego game.
The only reason we had to go to the mythical land of 'Outside' was because we didn't have iPhones. The reason 'Kids Today' are always on their phones is because they are better, they are more fun. Let's not ignore the irony of people complaining about kids on their phones, on their phones.
Let's not forget either that the first Nintendo home system was released in North America in 1985. Before that we'd had Atari and Colecovision, and other home video games for a decade prior. We also had Walkmans, cable TV and VCRs. It's not like all of a sudden in 2002 video games and video were thrust upon an unwitting public from on high.
None of this is new, not the toys or old people complaining. The specifics may change but the sentiments are the same. Throughout history one generation hates (AKA is afraid of because they don't understand) new stuff. Pinball machines, chess, bicycles, even recorded music and the printing press. All of those things were destroying the 'Kids Today.' Heck, if you were riding those bikes in 1890 you'd be blamed for the collapse of American values.
I'm sure when my children's generation moves into the world, displacing mine, I will be tempted to complain 'Kids Today.' "In my day we drove our cars with our hands! Our phones had a wire charger. To watch a move we had to open our eyes, not just have it piped into our brains."
Can we all just try harder to not be infected by this negative nostalgia? At the very least, let's think about what we share online.