I will be eternally grateful that I was a teenager in the 80’s long before the advent of mobile phones and social media.
As far as I’m aware there is no existing evidence of any of my extra curricular activities on film except for a cameo appearance in a local band’s pop video where I can be seen with a very bad perm and a black suede fringey jacket slow dancing with my neighbour.
Every time I think of the damage I could’ve done with a mobile phone as a young one with no sense, I get goosebumps. All the ex boyfriends I could’ve texted whilst full of drink, professing my undying love.
All the friends I could’ve fallen out with over miscommunications via social media. Waking up the morning after the night before with The Fear as you switch on your device, wondering what you posted or what someone else posted. I’d have been a nervous wreck.
My teenage years were pretty good. It was a simpler life but also so much better in so many ways.
My kids find it difficult to grasp the concept of life without wifi or mobile phones. I told them about how most homes had a land line in the hall and if a fella or girl wanted to ring you they had to ring that, get past your parents first (unless you were sitting on top of the phone waiting for it to ring!) and then have the whole family listen to your entire conversation whilst you died of embarrassment.
Then you made your arrangements to meet and if your plans changed you had to ring the house phone of the person again to make new arrangements. There was a certain wholesomeness to the whole process.
My kids think it’s an invasion of privacy to knock on their bedroom door and enter so the idea of having one phone between the entire family, located in the hall seems preposterous to them. They sleep with their phones beside their beds, they go to the loo with their phones. The only time they’re not glued to their phones is when they are at the table (a deal breaker in our house) or asleep.
I asked The Eldest what was the protocol for asking someone out these days. He rolls his eyes and says you contact them via social media or text them. “Would you not give them a ring first?” He looks at me as if I’m mad. “Nobody rings anybody any more mam.”
It all seems so impersonal, I tell him. “I hope you’re not on that tinder” I say. “You don’t know who those girls are. They could be mass murderers or I dunno, after your money.”
“Mam I don’t have any money.”
I just thank God I’m an aul wan now and passed that stage in life. I’d surely end up with a mass murderer if I was on Tinder!