The memories our children will never have |Keeping it Real

Friday, May 15, 2015

The memories our children will never have

Just last night I was thinking how much life has changed in the past 40 years, which, I guess, is another proof I'm getting old.

I remember my grandfather talking about this too, but then he lived for almost a century so he had an excuse. But looking back on my own life, I realize the world we live in now is totally different from the world I was born and grew up in. And no matter how much I tell my children how things were in my (not so distant) past, how much they may read about it or even learn at school, those are memories they will never have. 

 

Life before computers & internet

I bought my first computer when I was halfway through college and I never had internet connection at home until I got married. Internet connection in college was installed when I was already there, search engines were slow, weird things and the only social media we had back then was a chat called mIRC (I actually googled it and checked: it was created in '95; I started college in '92).  Where was Facebook back then?

Now we have wireless everywhere, internet access on our computers, phones, TVs, watches, cars... Does anyone still remember going to the library to search for books to complete school assignments? Or having to actually hand-write those same assignments? No word processor, no automatic spelling check, and any pictures we wanted to include were either copied from books or cutouts from magazines and newspapers. The last time my son needed info on farm animals (he's in second grade),we used the Ipad. And then powered up the Mac and printed out what he needed. On a wireless printer.

I learned to write with a fountain pen, which was not an easy feat since I'm left handed. My father always said if if could write with it, I could write with anything. He passed away before I got my first computer, so he never realized how the mere act of writing would be totally different from then onwards. My grandfather, on the other hand, taught me to use a typewriter. Those are pieces of history now. Well, maybe not the fountain pen yet, my husband still uses one today...

 

Life before smartphones and gadgets

Or any kind of mobile phone, for that matter. I grew up with land line telephones. The phone we had at home when I was growing up looked like the one in the picture below, with one difference: it was white instead of black.
The first time I saw someone using a mobile phone I was a train station and this man was holding a suitcase with a wire attached to a receiver and talking on the phone. A mobile the size of a suitcase. 
I bought my first mobile phone when I got my first job. It looked ( and weighted) like a brick. It didn't have a camera. Or internet. Or games. And reception was tricky sometimes. 
Now we have smartphones almost the size of a coin, way more powerful than my first desktop.  And while today I could still perfectly live without a smartphone, I could no longer live without a mobile. Mobiles have developed in us the need to be always accessible and to have other people accessible to. Now I go crazy if I can't reach people when I call them. Twenty years ago we would go about our lives the whole day not caring about it and that's another thing smart-everything-age kids will never understand.

 

Freedom and adventure  

Well, we still have freedom today, at least in the part of the world we are lucky to live in, and children can still have their adventures. But is the spirit really the same as when you were a kid? If it is, you and your children are lucky. I recall playing in the street with the neighborhood kids, virtually unsupervised. We were careless and free and had a lot of fun. I don't let my kids play in the street alone today. Who knows what can happen? You see all kinds of disasters in the news, from car accidents to pedophilia. I'm sure those things existed too thirty five years ago, but either they were not so publicized by media or our parents were much more relaxed. Now we seen to be always expecting the worse and preparing for it, and our children suffer in comparison. 

Also, the world is smaller today. You can get anywhere, either personally or virtually, really fast, which strongly reduces the "wow" factor. I remember the days I was set to leave for the summer holidays. It was the most important event of the year, I would spend a whole month at my grandparents house . And it took us almost a day to get there. Now I get there in and hour and the distance to where I currently live is even higher. And still today, whenever I travel by plane and reach my destination, I marvel at how many miles I am from home and how fast I got there. For our children, it will be the norm, not a wonder.

 

A different nature

No, this is not a rambling on global warming. But nature really is different today. Cities are bigger, there is more pollution, more noise. more light. I remember bringing home at the end of the summer boxes full of big beautiful seashells. Now I go to the beach and rarely see them, and the ones that are there are different, smaller. Practically no sea weeds to. I hated sea weeds when I was a kid, but now I miss them. And the stars? In those long summer nights the sky was full of them and they seemed so close you could almost touch them. Now there is so much street lighting everywhere that we can't see more than just a few stars at a time. My kids see them through the SkyView app, not the real deal. 

The world is different. We've gotten used to it. Our children will never know the difference. 

Have a wonderful weekend, 







Proudly featured at:
Keeping Up With Ashley and Cody

32 comments:

  1. LOL....like you, I did not have the computer growing up, I was introduced to it about 18 yrs ago on the job. Now...can't do without it, or FB or PINTEREST! I often wished I had spent more time with my great granny and granny learning the things they had to tell about what they have seen come...and go in their life. I know what I have seen and now wonder what else my grandkids will have and what else will move on. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Pam, have a great weekend!

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  2. It's crazy to think that my daughter will never have grown up without the internet...we try to unplug her as much as possible but it will still always effect her life!

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    1. There's no unplugging kids today, though I also try to come up with lots of other activities to keep then busy...

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  3. Sadly many kids are missing out. We, thankfully, can still see the stars where we are. Actually, there is a lot of "wildness" left where we live in South Africa. Thanks for linking up on Make My Saturday Sweet!

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    1. Thank you Christina, I'm glad you and your children still enjoy "wild" nature. Portugal is a very small country and though we have many beautiful places, it's hard to find a place that is virtually untouched by man.

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  4. I thouroughly enjoyed this post and was actually sad when I came to the end lol. I relate to it all. Loved it!!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! My husband says I'm being nostalgic, but it's true, the word is really a different place now. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

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  5. Just today I told my 8 year old son about the first time I saw a real computer at my friends home. And how I used to go to the library to send an email because we didn't have internet at home. He looked at me like I was crazy. It's a shame kids don't get to play outside like we did. I always struggle with the potential danger versus the freedom I want them to experience. Lucky us; we live in a small place and so we let the kids play outside from a certain age and when they've shown us they can be trusted not to go places they're not allowed to go. They love it. Just like we did.

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    1. It's amazing that kids today can't imagine the world without computers. It's like they are born already connected to the digital world...Thank you for stopping by!

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  6. Your post is so true, just makes a person think of the good old days. Most kids don't even know what playing outside is and an encyclopedia has been replaced with google. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  7. I was listening to a mom, who recorded her son seeing a phone booth for the first time. He had no idea what it was. That's kind of sad. Imagine a world without 8-track tapes! Thanks for sharing at #AnythingGoes.

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    1. And Sony's Walkman? It's museum worthy today and I still remember desperately wanting one for Christmas...Thank you for stopping by Sandy!

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  8. This is such a great post!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

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    1. Thank you Jess, have a great week!

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  9. It's so true and so much changes in such a short period of time. I wonder what our kids will be saying their kids are missing out on in 40 years time!

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

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    1. Yes, the world does change a lot, and but I guess we miss it on a daily basis and just notice the big changes looking back one or two decades...

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  10. This is a great post. I remember my mom having a computer that was hooked to dial up. I used to live in a small town in Idaho that was behind all the changes of the world. Cell phones were selective in areas, so we didn't really have them until I was in 8th grade. We didn't get high speed internet until I was in 6th grade. There are huge changes that I see and I'm only 20. When I was younger we were always outside, hardly ever had a electronic gadget, and we browsed the town. I work at a youth club and I see a huge change. They kids want to stay inside and play on the WII or computer. They want to watch TV instead of play a game outside. It is a shift that I try hard to change where I work. I want the kids outside playing, getting energy out and exploring life. Thanks for this post. Thanks for linking up with Keeping Up with Ashley and Cody on the Friday Link Up!

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    1. Thank for stopping by Ashley. I also try to have my kids outside as much as possible, but it's not always easy with all the alternatives they have today.

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  11. This is a great post. I remember my mom having a computer that was hooked to dial up. I used to live in a small town in Idaho that was behind all the changes of the world. Cell phones were selective in areas, so we didn't really have them until I was in 8th grade. We didn't get high speed internet until I was in 6th grade. There are huge changes that I see and I'm only 20. When I was younger we were always outside, hardly ever had a electronic gadget, and we browsed the town. I work at a youth club and I see a huge change. They kids want to stay inside and play on the WII or computer. They want to watch TV instead of play a game outside. It is a shift that I try hard to change where I work. I want the kids outside playing, getting energy out and exploring life. Thanks for this post. Thanks for linking up with Keeping Up with Ashley and Cody on the Friday Link Up!

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  12. Love this! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - We hope to see you again soon! The door is OPEN!
    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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    1. Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  13. Hi Teresa. Great post, and so very true. Believe it or not I started my blog so I could write down all of the things about growing up in the 70s (before i forget them!) that my children miss out on, do differently, or some of the things that have stayed the same. The biggest difference for kids, I think, is lack of freedom. And for adults, I think technology has increased the expectations placed on us - it has opened up some wonderful doors for keeping in touch with people and sharing things, but it can be hard to keep on top of.

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    1. I'm a child of the 70s (I was born in '75), so I can totally relate. I love the idea behind your blog and I'm you newest Boglovin follower!

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    2. Oh thanks, Teresa, that's great. x

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  14. Brilliant and so true! Our kids have NO idea what it was like growing up with no technology - and you know what - we had THE BEST childhood! We spent more time outside having fun in the sun...we saw EVERYTHING, there was no distractions from 'screens' and technology. You actually visited your friends in person as opposed to posting on their Facebook wall. It's actually a reminder for us adults to take a look in the mirror and make changes! Turn off the screens and spend some time with our children teaching games like hopscotch, elastics, backyard cricket, riding our bikes and having a picnic in the park with our friends :)
    (BlogFair via Mummy Do It)

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    1. so ver true! thank you for visiting and have a wonderful weekend!

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  15. When my daughter wanted to use the IPad instead of doing her homework on paper I told her that I didn't have any computers when I was little! I've also often told my children that when I was little I didn't get to watch tv and movies when ever I wanted as we didn't have DVDs or You Tube - don't think they quite understood! Thanks for sharing on the #BlogFair, hope you can visit again next week.

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    1. I guess kids listen to what we say but can't really imagine what life was like. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

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