Back in the Day

We probably all remember our parents saying things like, “Back when I was a kid…” to illustrate how easy our lives were compared to theirs.

After reading this list of “back in the day” comparisons on a blog I follow, I can already see how growing up for me was completely different than it is for today’s youth. The modified list is below. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; you’ll nod your head in agreement. Oh, to be young again!

1. When I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog.

2. There was no e-mai! We had to actually write somebody a letter – with a pen. Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there. And anything you wanted to order was done through a catalog, writing a check, and waiting until it arrived.

3. Child Protective Services didn’t care if our parents beat us. A swat on the rear got our attention and didn’t really hurt anything but our pride.

4. There were no MP3s, Napsters or iTunes. If you wanted to steal music, you had to ask mom to drive you to the record store and shoplift it yourself.

5. Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We’d play our favorite tape and “eject” it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless.

6. We didn’t have fancy stuff like call waiting. If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal.

7. There weren’t any all-invasive cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn’t make a call or receive one. And you had to carry a quarter wherever you went and hope there’s a pay phone for emergencies.

8. We didn’t have fancy caller ID either. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your in-laws, the collection agent … you just didn’t know!

9. We didn’t have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics. You actually had to use your imagination.

10. You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on. You were out of luck when it came to channel surfing. You had to get off the couch and walk over to the TV to change the channel. And if you missed a show you were waiting for all week, well, too bad. You had to wait until summer for re-runs.

11. There was no Cartoon Network either. You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I’m saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons!

12. And we didn’t have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

13. And our parents told us to stay outside and play… all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside… you were doing chores!

14. And car seats – oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the “safety arm” across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling “shot gun” in the first place!

15. If you were lucky enough to have a VCR (or beta player), you had to go to the video rental store and hope that the movie you want would be in stock. Otherwise, you were out of luck.

16. The evening news was considered reality television.

With all these modern day conveniences supposedly invented to make our lives easier … are they, really?

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