Monday, September 23, 2019

Kids Are Kids In Any Era

I've been seeing this meme and others like it online for quite a while now. It depicts a group of 1980s kids making their own fun outdoors, next to a trio of sullen modern tweens who can't look away from their cell phones. 

The implication of course is that 80s kids were far superior because they were active and adventurous and didn't walk around texting and tweeting nonstop like their current counterparts.

To that notion I politely say "Bullsh*t."

There's a good reason why 80s kids weren't constantly checking their cell phones  BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE THEM!

There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that if smart phones had been available in 1980, every kid in America would have had one and would have gazed at them twenty four hours a day.

Don't believe me? Then substitute "smart phone" for "video game." The Atari 2600 debuted in 1977, and lasted well into the 1990s. The instant the system came out, kids began playing it non-stop, leading parents to worry they were spending too much time staring at their TV screens.

If the internet had been around forty years ago, you'd have seen memes very similar to the one above, comparing active 1950s kids next to sedentary 1980s kids parked in front of a video game.

This attitude goes back even further. TV became a thing in the early 1950s, and kids immediately started spending all their time watching. Which no doubt led to parents comparing them to more active 1920s kids! 

Despite what these smug, self-righteous memes would have you believe, there's nothing inherently wrong with today's phone-gazing kids. It's just the latest in a long line of distracting new technology. And thirty years from now, someone will post a meme showing active 2019 kids next to 2050 tweens with computer chips in their heads.

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