In Our Day

Essay by androclesHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2009

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How many times have you heard the age-old expression “in my day...?” “In my day I had to walk to school, uphill both ways in the freezing cold, buck naked.” “In my day I had to get up of my ass to change the channel on the black and white TV.” “In my day it took five minutes to make popcorn instead of two and a half because we didn’t have microwaves”. The truth of the matter is, life was more difficult in their day. Some melodramatic teenagers who think their lives are terrible really don’t know how good they have it.

There are teenagers who have fits because their internet was out for ten minutes. Even though this really is an inconvenience, it would be a lot more annoying if every time something had to be looked up for a project, a trip to the local library had to be made.

Nowadays, almost all the research can be done using the internet, or at least more than half of it. How much easier is it to type something into Google than to walk down to the library, look for a book which has the information that is needed, and actually locate that information in the book? Think of the time that is saved by having a virtual library at your fingertips.

After the appropriate websites have been browsed and the suitable information had been extracted, what is done next? The assignment is typed out and printed in about twenty seconds. Back in the day, papers had to be printed by typewriter, with extra caution being made to avoid spelling mistakes for fear of having to go back and white them out manually, or worse, having to restart the whole thing. There was no “spell check” that made a little red squiggly line under every mistake, just a dictionary and perhaps a parent with a good eye for spelling and grammar. If there is already a finished hand written paper and all that needs to be done is the actual typing and printing of the final copy, it takes approximately fifteen minutes, twenty if the person is a slow at typing. If a typewriter was needed, the time would be doubled easily, and it would take even longer if it was not an electric typewriter.

Another thing that makes life easier for teens is the cell phone. To some, it is almost an addiction; constantly sending text messages or talking to friends. Again, it is difficult to imagine life without one. Having to pay 50 cents for a payphone or having to find someone’s house phone to use seems like a huge inconvenience. It also makes parents feel safer knowing that they can contact their child at anytime, which in turn gives teenagers more freedom. But cell phones are not merely just cell phones anymore; they are cameras and MP3 players as well. There is no longer even the need to carry all three objects at once anymore; they are all compacted into one easy to use object.

Meals can be made in under a minute with microwaves, television can be watched in color from afar without the need to get up to change the channel, and there no longer seems to be the paradoxal concept of the “uphill both ways” path to school. Teens today seem to have it made, and all these examples are only being taken from less than 40 years ago. If you go back further, comparatively, life gets even harder for teens. It leads to the thoughts of what the modern generation of teenagers will be saying to their children, or their children’s children: “In my day...”