In true parent fashion, I’d like to put it out there that kids these days really have it made! Think about it… they have the world at their fingertips, literally, with search engines. Gone are the days of arguing about a fact or story – disputes can clearly be put to bed with a quick Google search. They never have to have the anxiety of leaving homework at home since you can easily reprint or resend from a laptop. And cell phones have eliminated the need to find pay phones, call your parent using 1-800-COLLECT, and quickly mutter, “Mom, come pick me up,” in the brief, “Announce your name,” recording in order to get a ride home.
But on the other side of the coin, there are some great experiences that advances in technology have stolen from our children. Below are some of the few that quickly came to mind:
Retainers: These incognito Invisalign wearing lads and lasses will never experience the joy of picking out what color retainer (with OR without glitter) that they will don for about a month or so until they accidentally wrap it in a napkin at a restaurant and a waitress throws it in the trash with your uneaten burger…ok, well that could have just been me, and let me add that the image of my Mom pulling on my Dad’s shirt to not let him dumpster dive in order to find it will forever be engraved in my mind, but I digress. I mean, what kind of character can a child build without the need to figure out the coolest way to pop out their retainer at the school lunch table in front of all of their friends on chicken fries day? Or how can the coolest kid in class be humbled without having to tongue twist his way through saying the pledge of allegiance – the “for which it stands” part always left me with a mouth full of saliva.
The Painstaking Art of Making Mixed Tapes: Nowadays, making playlists is effortless. Cassette tape recording took:
- A keen sense of timing to make sure you didn’t catch any DJ intros before you hit record
- Patience to search and find the perfect song, and
- The ability to call a quick audible if a song you weren’t expecting came on and you only had room for two other songs you were hunting for – decisions, decisions!
Many a Friday nights were spent hunched over a rather large boom box listening to the Top 9 at 9, looking to build the best mixed tap to tell my friends about at school on Monday (and yes, I was a huge nerd who probably should have been out doing something else, but that’s a story for a different time).
Passing Notes: Confession Tuesday, I still keep a box of old notes from grammer, middle and highschool that I rummage through every few years that the box pops up as I clean through the basement. Nothing made school more interesting than passing a friend in the hall and getting tossed a carefully folded note with an infamous, “Don’t show ANYONE,” plastered all over it. Texting a juicy story just doesn’t have the same nostalgia – plus, how else are you supposed to pass the time in class now!?
So while our parents share the walking uphill both ways in the snow stories, our tales to our children will be a little more colorful (make that multicolored with glitter like my 2nd grade retainer!). What else would you add to the list?