Change, not so great

The ‘90s kids had it best. Kids growing up today have it too easy and are too spoiled. It’s a shame our society has progressed this way, but we as ‘90s kids were lucky enough to grow up in a blissful era.

One of my favorite things as a kid was playing outside. We would play in the sand, swing on our swing-sets and even set up tents in tree houses and sleep there at night.

Every day of the summer would be spent on my neighbor’s slip-and-slide, trying to catch wild bunnies or drawing on our driveways with chalk.

The only time we went inside was for a lunch of character-shaped macaroni and cheese or a freeze pop.

When I’m baby-sitting for a family and suggest going outside to play, I get a sassy remark about how the kids would rather watch TV or play video games. They don’t know what they’re missing.

As far as TV is concerned, the ‘90s had some legendary shows. There was never a time in grade school when I got more excited than when my teacher rolled out the big tube TV and we got to watch “School House Rock” or the “Magic School Bus.”

Coming home from school was always a treat, too, because either we got to watch Cory and Topanga’s romance bloom on “Boy Meets World” or be swooned by Uncle Jesse from “Full House.” Let’s not forget Saturday morning cartoons or days you stayed home sick.

Nothing compares to the classic shows on Nickelodeon or Disney Channel original movies. Some of our best life lessons were learned from those beloved characters.

These kids will never know the elation we felt when we got to the computer first at school and got to play “Oregon Trail.” I can still remember feeling like a hero the first time I made it across the river safely. Life was just so much better.

These days kids get iPhones at age eight and barely know how to play card games or board games. Everything is electronic. The games from the ‘90s topped all. We didn’t have iPhones, iPads, tablets or numerous TV’s throughout the house, so we had to entertain ourselves through other means.

I remember my neighbor and I playing with our Tamagotchis for hours on end. When they died, we moved on to more exciting things, like making zoos out of Beanie Babies or forts out of blankets and couch cushions.

Nights like those are some of my best memories as a kid. It’s a shame to see that this generation seems to be lacking in comparable experiences.

With luxuries kids have today comes a lack of motivation. Much of today’s generation gets practically everything and anything it wants. There’s an extreme lack of work ethic to achieve things. We all want what we don’t have. If there’s something newer or better out there, kids today seem to beg and plead until they can have it, as opposed to ‘90s kids who were taught to be happy with what we got, or work to get what we wanted.

In the ‘90s we had less gadgets and more imagination. We could play outside for hours and never get bored. Lately it seems only a screen can entertain young minds.

Also, there’s a scarcity of social work ethic in today’s youth. Far too few would rather sit on their phones than engage in meaningful conversation.

That’s part of what sets them apart from ‘90s kids. They missed the lesson on appropriate ways to socialize, how to earn your way and how to show respect. While we were growing up we worked to save up for what we wanted and we minded our manners for the most part.

With today’s privileges comes entitlement. I can’t help but notice that the way kids grow up is changing drastically.

With new times comes new technology, and that’s a great innovation, but it’s just a shame that with improvement comes new entitlement and degradation of our youth’s ability to interact socially.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].