Back in the day

“When I was your agea��,” “Back in my daya��,” “In the good old daysa��,” remark millions of senior citizens across the US and the rest of the world.

Much has changed since the “good old days” that people often refer to. Between immense technological advancements, changes in thinking, and the development of dozens of minority groups, there’s no doubt that the world has changed and is not the same world that was present fifty years ago.

Along with these monumental societal changes comes change in the daily lives of every citizen. Where teenagers thirty years ago would use a dictionary, today I use my Merriam Webster app. Where parents thirty years ago would use a road atlas, today my parents use their GPS. And most notably, where little kids thirty years ago might go outside and play all afternoon, more and more kids today stay inside and play their video games, watch TV, or use their phones.

According to The Telegraph, parents in the U.K. spent over three billion pounds on technological gadgets for their children for Christmas in 2003. Three billion pounds is undoubtedly a lot of money and arguably excessive. While kids in the last century may have received toys or books as gifts, children today expect gadgets and electronics. But this replacement is simply how the world has always grown.

Throughout the course of human life, our species has developed immeasurably. From the Stone Age, Iron Age, Copper Age, to the Roman times and Industrial Ages, humans have been constantly changing. As we enter the new Technology Age, we have to understand that there will be changes. Good or bad, these changes will eventually allow us to continue to improve as this generation of children grow up and contribute to society.

Yes, kids may not play outside as much anymore. But trading shovels and buckets in for XBOXes and iPhones is not the end of the world. While children may not run and romp like explorers as much, they are being bettered in different, but equally effective, ways. Technology allows children to expand their horizons by learning about the world and beyond. Though toddlers may not dig in sand pits as much anymore, using the Discovery Channel app on their mom’s iPad allows them to discover all about organisms that they would never uncover in their backyard.

So while some may complain that our society is ruining childhood with technology, people have to understand that that’s how humans have advanced since the beginning of civilization. With each change comes controversy and worry, but our ability to adapt over the centuries is what has made our society so successful. In fifty years, our current younger generations might be complaining that “kids these days” play with their VR goggles instead of watching TV.