They Had It So Easy

on February 5, 2010

Everyone grew up hearing the stories about how are parents had it so much harder when they were kids. Trudging to school through the snow, uphill both ways, past the bully with the penchant for inflicting wedgies, and the old man on the corner who threw shoes at kids who dared step on his lawn. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

They may have had it harder as kids, but they had it a hell of a lot easier as parents. I’m facing issues with my ten year old my parents never would have had to face. When I was five years old, I rode the bus home from kindergarten around noon and stayed home alone for the next couple hours every day. That’s FIVE years old. And I wasn’t locked safely in the house. I was running around the neighborhood and down at the creek. There was no fear someone would drive by and snatch me away.

These days, I hate every moment my daughter goes out to play and I can’t see her. I live in a very safe part of town, but the reality is, you can never be too safe.

There was no such thing as video games until I was somewhere in my pre-teen years. And even then, it was Pong. Remember Pong? No blood flying in this game. Nothing but a blip on the screen flying in this game. Now, gamer is a profession and the games they play require them to kill people or commit Federal offenses. Today, kids are interacting with people all over the planet, some of whom are more interested in luring them into a dark alley than helping them save their villagers.

Even something as simple as an iPod requires constant policing. My kiddo wanted an App that would allow her to adopt a pet, give it a name, and take care of it. Sounds innocent, right? Not quite. This App opened her up to communications from all the other users. When I found messages from someone called “Sexy Blond Looking 4 a Good Time”, the App was removed.

I haven’t even gotten to the teenage years yet! My parents had it SO EASY. Our worlds were tiny, our universes miniscule and limited. Boundaries no longer exist. The protective bubble in which we were lucky enough to develop has been popped.

So you tell me, is progress really such a great thing? Is no boundaries better than safety and protection? I would never suggest shielding our children from reality, but I’d feel a whole lot better if I could place some invisible force-field around mine. And I’d save a lot of money in hair color.