Everyone thinks that their childhood was better, cooler, more rewarding and ultimately taught them better life lessons and instilled better morals than their childrens’.
Let’s look at just eight reasons why you’re wrong.
1. Home Entertainment
Yours: One teak laminated TV with matching cabinet hi-fi for the whole family to share
and possibly your own portable cassette player if you were well off!
Theirs: A huge flat screen TV in every room with Internet access, home PC’s, laptops, tablets, consoles, Bluetooth speakers and mp3 players built into everything
2. Childhood TV
Yours: That big wooden box (pictured above) had 4 push button pre-sets (no remote) which was one too many because there were only 3 channels, and only two of those offered programmes suitable for kids! And if that wasn’t limiting enough, they were only shown for two hours on weekdays and four on Saturdays (which you couldn’t watch anyway because it clashed with some gardening programme!).
Theirs: A big-ass flat-screen smart TV accessing hundreds of channels from satellite, internet and digital broadcasting with about a dozen channels showing nothing but cartoons 24/7!
3. Childhood Internet
Yours: Ceefax & Teletext. 999 pages of information covering everything from holidays to holidays (with news, sport and weather) accessible at coma inducing speeds through your analogue TV.
Theirs: Google. A googolplex of googolplexes (that’s really a word!) of pages of information developed from a secret American program used to cover up UFO activity back in the day! Broadband is now so fast that dodgy pages ‘that you weren’t even looking at’ are delivered before your wife has even gone to bed!
4. Childhood Toys
Yours: Dinky, Tonka, Tandy & Corgy. No, these weren’t WW2 Spitfire pilots, they made most of the things you played with as a child. Other notable toys included Top Trumps (pictures on card), Jacks (picking up bits of metal whilst a ball bounces), conkers (trying to smash tree seeds with tree seeds) and clackers (two balls you smacked together on a piece of string; I-shit-you-not!)
Theirs: Flying, swimming, walking, talking, autonomous, sentient, web enabled contraptions that can Facebook your friends pictures of you snap-chatting yourself watching Youtube videos of your friends doing the same thing!
5. Childhood Discipline
Yours: Regular smacks, the belt, a clip round the ear now and then and bed with no tea if you were lucky! (and that’s just for answering back!)
Theirs: The naught step and withholding WiFi privileges (try anything else MF and I’ll have social services onto you!) In this age of health & safety, safeguarding, litigation and children divorcing parents, the threats levelled at misbehaving children have been reduced to making them sit down (oh, the horror!) and cutting off their digital limbs by blocking their WiFi access; which is admittedly, the modern equivalent of hobbling them.
6. Childhood Holidays
Yours: Blackpool, Rhyl or Brighton with a packed lunch and a flask of tomato soup to warm you up after you’ve just swam in the North Sea! (and Savalon cream to treat the imminent infections) Then a trip home in an overcrowded Ford Cortina filled with the smell of vomit because your mom forgot the travel sickness pills, playing ‘I spy’ a hundred times and listening to country and western music played on a four-track!
Theirs: Florida and Paris Disney Parks, Swiss Alps skiing, the Indian Ocean for a spot of sunbathing then flying home premier class with Airport lounges and free WiFi everywhere to keep them entertained on their tablets viewing the millions of selfies they shared with the world.
7. Childhood Fast Food
Yours: A bag of bits from the chippy or picked muscles and whelks. If it was your birthday you may have got frozen pizza as a special treat! (Mum’s gone to Careefour’s).
Theirs: MacDonnnnnnald’s, MacDonnnnnnnald’s Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! and a Subway and a Burger King and a Wimpy and all available 24-7 at the driiiiiive-thru or delivered to your door by a spotty European on a moooooooooooooooped!
8. Childhood Clothes
Yours: At school you were forced to wear an ill-conceived attempt at social levelling, the uniform, and at home you had to wear Ill-fitting hand-me-downs that were a decade out of date when they were new! You had nicer clothes but they were for birthdays, Christmas, weddings and funerals only.
Theirs: Designer baby-grows set the standard and by the time they leave school their wardrobes look like an a-list celebrities’ awards selection! With their inflated pocket money and multi income parents they stay ahead of school fashion by buying the latest trends for today that are outmoded and replaced by lunchtime!
So there you have it. Next time you want to compare childhoods, think again!