Wednesday, 22 April 2009
by Mama Pig
As you all know; I am an older mommy. My oldest son graduates high school in May the day after I celebrate my 21st birthday for the 19th time.
Coming from a different generation I find myself asking if times have changed that much or does it just seem that way? When I was in high school we had computers. They used DOS. There was no such thing as Windows and the thought of not only owning one computer but sometimes as many as five, wasn't even in my wildest dreams. When I wanted to talk with a friend; I actually had to use the landline phone. Which brings me to; we simply called it the phone, there was no "landline".
AOL, myspace, facebook; never saw it coming. Cell phones had just started to come out my senior year of high school. They were these HUGE things that you wanted but that nobody could afford to actually use. Airtime was something in the range of four dollars a minute; so while it was a status symbol to own one; you never actually used it.
Alcohol and drugs were most certainly around. Pot was the drug of choice among most teens. I personally was terrified of it so I never had an experience with drugs of any kind. I did occasionally drink wine coolers. Usually nursing one through a party just so I had something in my hands. The first time I can remember taking a drink was when I turned sixteen.
Today, kids as young as ten are experimenting with drugs and alcohol. At ten I was still secretly playing with my Barbie; I didn't even know what pot was. Kids as young as twelve suspected of fathering children. Teachers having relationships with sixth graders; seriously?
My curiosity is this; was all this occurring back then and we just didn't hear about it as much? We didn't have twenty four hour news channels. Hell, we had four channels total when I was young. Is it now just the total coverage available that makes things seem so much worse; or is it really so much worse?
I knew kids that died of drug overdoses. I knew kids that committed suicide. I knew two kids that almost lost their lives in a car accident. I even knew a young girl that was murdered. The difference back then was; this was not something that made the news. Well, with the exception of the murder, but even that was just a half page in the back of the metro section. There were no Amber Alerts; Wal-Mart didn't have Code Adams; yet these things were most likely still occurring.
Today, every single one of those incidents most likely would have made national news and been reported on for days. Most likely it would even be given a catchy title; "The Search for the Train Track Murderer" or something equally silly.
So, in my wandering thoughts I still wonder; is it really so much worse now or is it just more widely reported on? With the internet in most every teens room, there is a whole new predator to watch out for, but are they any less safe now than we were back then? Thoughts??