I know that ‘the good old days’ weren’t all that great. In these modern times, communication is so much faster, information is readily available, and technology overall has made life much more efficient (there is a counterargument here, but that’s for another post). But for this post, I’m reminiscing about yesteryear, aka the good old days.
How this came about
I can’t exactly pinpoint how I got the idea for this post, but in recent days I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood again. It’s probably because I’m far from my parents and I miss them. I was born in 1991 in South Africa and I grew up here. They’re a little behind the rest of the world because that’s just how third world countries operate.
As a kid
I remember as a child if I wanted to talk to my friends, I would actually have to talk to them in person or call them on their landline. The worst thing was when I called and their parents answered. I must say that cell phones have made my life easier—especially when my mom always disappeared in the shops. That woman is like freaking Houdini.
Nowadays there are so many ways to communicate, texting, social media, email etc., but it’s just not the same, is it? Don’t get me started on letters. How sweet was it that someone actually took the time to put pen to paper? They had to go to the post office and then it was special when you got the letter. Now people don’t even bother with words, you’ll just get an emoji or the casual “Hey”.
Also, let’s talk about photographs. When I was little, taking photos was a big deal because it took time and money to get them developed. As kids, my dad would put time aside so that we could get good shots. We’d make sure we were in our favourite outfits—you know, it was special. Then there was also the element of surprise when you had the film developed to see how it actually came out.
At the end of primary school, I got my first camera phone, and I thought it was amazing—I could take photos whenever I wanted (on a super tiny screen, I might add). Nowadays people take photos of all kinds of stupid stuff. I hate those people who take photos of their food. This brings me to my next point …
Social media-enough said. Of course, it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family who live far away. However, it feels like some people treat it like some kind of PR campaign. You don’t have to bombard social media with hundreds of photos and posts about you doing something fun. You don’t have to upload a photo of every meal. And what is with the thousands of selfies? Who are these people doing this for?
I don’t have a very interesting life (as you may have noticed), but I have friends who are very interesting and do interesting things. The thing is, they’re not that active on social media because they are actually out there living life and don’t feel compelled to impress people. Shouldn’t we all be more like that?
To sum up, it seems like a lot of things have lost their specialness. Even just watching television was fun, because you had to wait a week to watch the next episode—you couldn’t just binge a whole season. If you wanted information, you had to go look in a book. It feels like we lost something along the way while we were “evolving”.
I am so going through my mid-youth crisis again.