I’m now (GULP) 51-years old (shout out to all my buddies from the Class of 1981!!) and it occurred to me a couple of days ago, that when I was a young innocent gal of 15 the only thing I really had to worry about was if the Piggly Wiggly had (BOTTLED) Dr. Pepper in stock, or if Gopher was ever going to find a good woman on the Love Boat each week. I wasn’t vapid by the way; we just didn’t have access to a stream of 24-hour information back then.
I think in many ways, those of us that grew up before the internet boom were perhaps a bit luckier than the children and teens that are inundated with instant everything today.
As a very young child I was certainly aware of the Vietnam War, Watergate, the dreaded hippies and their silly notions of peace and love. But I only heard fleeting tidbits of each story, and really only once a day (if, by some strange reason, the television happened to be on during dinner and ABC World News with Walter Cronkite was on). Otherwise I blithely went about the business of not being an adult. Betty and Veronica were the equivalent of all that Real Housewives nonsense, and Daffy Duck (nor did any of his relatives) ever spoke out about religion. We didn’t have to watch images every single day of scaring looking medical personal in hazmat suits walking out of hospitals, or TSA workers searching people and toddlers at airports ( unless it was an episode of The Twilight Zone of course).
I don’t know how I would have made it had I grown up with all of the shocking images kids are privy to these days. How do you explain to an 8-year old about Ebola? What comfort can you give to a child who might have seen a story about ISIS, or, God forbid, any of the images?
I have to believe that there must be some type of glass half empty/half full scenario to give us some peace of mind concerning all the unlimited instantaneous information that we experience in the world today.
And if there’s not? I’m pretty sure there’ll be a news release about it any minute now.