I have to say, there are SO many reasons why it’s great to be a teen and in your 20’s these days. There are many opportunities to do things those in my generation couldn’t or didn’t have the opportunity to do. Such as being able to keep in touch with your family who lived in another state easily. Meeting new people based on “groups” you’re involved with online. Having a world of information at your fingertips. These are just a few of the things I would love to have had when I was in high school and college. However, there are MANY reasons why I’m glad I grew up before technology came into our daily routine.
- Being Stupid – Anything I did as a teen or as a college student? Stayed in the past. I don’t have pictures online coming back to haunt me. What I don’t want to remember, I can let slowly fade from my memory.
- Feeling Safe – Sure, there were stalkers before technology, but technology takes it to a whole new level. It’s easier to have your identity stolen or replicated. You know all those facebook accounts that come out with friend requests for someone you know your friends with already. Stolen pictures. I actually had someone follow me, unfollow me and then block me on Instagram. The thing that startled me? The picture of the person was one of mine that I use as a profile picture on my Author account on Twitter. I am assuming the account was deleted because I had friends look up the account and it wasn’t there.
- Being Present – When us Gen Xers were with our friends, before technology, we were with our friends. We didn’t have a screen dividing us and texting other friends. We were able to sit down and have a conversation without interruption. When I got my first smart phone, I did it all the time. I had my phone out because I wanted to be connected all the time with the outside world. Now? I rarely bring my phone out to look at when I’m out with friends, at a party or hanging with my family.
- Not Attached At The Hip – When we were kids, our parents didn’t have to worry (too much) if we weren’t connected to their hips. I would be out the door after breakfast and my parents were lucky to see me before dinner. I knew my curfew was when the street lights came on. The games we had were always fun. Kickball, Catch, Hide & Seek and Red Light, Green Light or Potato Sack races to name a few. I would play hide and seek in the apartment complex I lived in that had 26 apartment buildings. We didn’t really worry about being kidnapped. We’d have lunch at whatever friends house we were at, at lunch time.
- Not Always Available – In my 20’s, if you couldn’t reach me? Oh well, leave a message on the answering machine. I’ll call you when I get home. These days people are always expected to be available. No matter where they are. We are no longer tied to our landlines and unreachable if we’re not home. If we didn’t answer, we didn’t answer and it was ok. But now, if you don’t answer the ringing cell phone, you get that text message. “Call Me!” Then reamed up one side and down the other when you finally called back. “Where were you??” “Why didn’t you answer your phone???” I’m like, Dude, chill… I was…. Whatever I was doing. But, why should we feel the need to explain? I just now say, “I don’t keep my phone with me all the time.”
Now, I’m not saying that growing up with technology is a bad thing. I truly don’t think it is. There are MANY advantages. But, the advantages I think are more for the adults. However, there are many disadvantages too. Children don’t really have a childhood anymore. They’re online instead of outside. There are electronic babysitters to keep the kids quiet instead of parents talking and connecting with their kids. The disconnect we have as a society where we don’t always talk to each other. Being with someone doesn’t mean you’re always with them. There are always interruptions. You’re always expected to be available. In your personal and work lives.