“How is life different today compared to when you were a child?”
It is an interesting question that I considered avoiding. I had an issue deciding what to write.
Let’s start with the current Covid scare. I remember having the measles and my siblings the mumps when I was young. I remember my mother’s concern when we were sick. Then there was polio. My mother had each of us vaccinated against polio. (A girl in my elementary class had to wear braces on her legs because of polio.) The flu was the scare in later years.
Since March 2020, the news has been about COVID and now Omicron. Flu which killed tens of thousands in previous years must be in remission since I haven’t heard of anyone going to the doctor because of “seasonal flu.”
Television had three channels until the middle 1950s in black and white. I remember, vaguely, how impressed my siblings and I were when we got a color television. Now, every program comes to us in color, some in 4K high-definition color. I should add there are thousands of channels available and streaming programs. Television sets started as large pieces of furniture with small screens. Over the years, the size of the screens has grown to unbelievable sizes.
I spent my time outdoors as a child. My mother fed us breakfast and shooed us out the door. We came in for lunch and sent back out the door until dark—not sunset, but DARK. Today, I hear complaints children spend too much time indoors with their computers, cell phones, and video games. No video games when I was a child. Just bicycles, footballs, baseballs, guns for cops and robbers, and hanging around with good friends.
I spent time outside every school day in what the teachers called a recess. We played dodgeball, climbed monkey bars, and more. Recess occurred whether the sun shined, rained, or inches of snow covered the ground. Unfortunately, I have heard many schools have canceled recess. It may be because they protect themselves from lawsuits should a child be injured. (We have become a very litigious society.) No wonder many complain about how overweight and out-of-shape children are today!
The last difference is my perspective on politics and the media. I grew up when the news came to us via the newspaper, radio, or one of the three television stations that signed off, usually at midnight. There were no twenty-four entertainment networks (that call themselves news channels). As a result, I think the country was less polarized than today. ABC, NBC, and CBS ran news specials but rarely interviewed guests. Instead, they presented a report, slanted it might be, but less so than today.
Today, the twenty-four-hour channels need to fill their broadcast time. So they select “experts” and events that reflect the agenda of that channel. These slant their reports or interviews to convince us what to believe and how to act. And I am confident there is a station to reinforce any political position. The stories presented and the persons interviewed will support that position. So all one must do is select a view and find the channel that matches.
Therefore, I don’t know that you can find a station or program that gives the facts, just the facts.
I am confident there are more significant differences, but I have bored you enough.
I wish you an enjoyable holiday season, and may you be safe and healthy in the coming year.
Traveling is much different from when I was a child. Driving back then, before the Interstates came to be was a matter of following state highways and connectors. Flying was a rarity. Mom, in fact, didn’t fly until years after I flew, while I flew for the first time when I was eighteen, heading for military training.
Nuclear duck and cover exercises were the norm and then vanished. Microwave ovens and processed foods are a huge difference now. Mom would spend hours making meals from scratch — fried chicken, meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, pot roast with vegetables. Fastfood places didn’t exist in my area until a place called — I think — the Golden Triangle emerged. Then came a McDonald. I remember the first time that Mom, driving her big old brown Buick with its fins on the back said, “Should we eat there?” She was as unsure as us. We tried it and liked it, finding it inexpensive but tasty.
My recess memories are like yours. We were out there, period. Music was way different. Just like television, there were limited channels with limited fare. We found a local AM rock and roll station that also played some soul & R&B. Man, has that all changed or what?
Pizza emerged concurrent with me growing up. First there was, what? Pizza? What’s that? Then there was pizza in a box, and then pizza from a little corner pizza shop. Pizza wasn’t the ubiquitous business that it is now.
Sodas — or soda pop, or pop — was limited to holidays and birthday parties. And beer was all American lagers until the imports, like Heineken, showed up.
Yes, there have been some changes, right? Cheers