Howdy! Before anything else, allow me to make an important disclaimer: these photos are NOT mine. I do not take credit for any of the photographs, just the memories!
I grew up in the 80’s. The dawn of the internet came when I was in 7th grade and I was only fully using it by late 90s to 2000’s.
It’s now 2021, the internet is a huge part of our everyday lives, and most would not survive without it. The other day, I saw these being sold online and it threw me in a time capsule. Hard.
I vividly remember the day my parents got this and it was delivered to our house. They ordered the World Book Encyclopaedia for an older sibling, and this set of Childcraft volume was part of a promotion that came with it.
I devoured the set and read and flipped through them almost everyday. The most used were #2- Time to Read, #4- About Animals, #7-About Us, #9-Holidays and Birthdays and #11-Make and Do.
Now if you compare the information you’d get from these books to what kids these days get from the internet, it’s nothing. Almost nothing.
But there’s one thing that these books spurned in me (and all other pre-Internet kids I believe): Curiosity to see and experience the outside world myself.
Not that I knew at the age of 5 or 6 that the glossy pages of those books were limited, it’s just that I felt I wanted to see more of what I read and saw, and that seeing more entailed me going out there in the real world, and not clicking on “view more related videos”.
I have interacted with kids these days and while they’re wittier and much savvier than I was when I was their age, I can say that they’re much more content to just view the world through social media.
They’re not that impressed or wowed by seeing and experiencing things face to face anymore because they’ve already seen it, and a billion other things and places online over and over again.
This is not some tirade of “my generation is better than these kids”. I just marvel at how different childhood is now. In the 80’s and 90’s, if we wanted to pull a prank and see someone’s reaction, we actually pulled the dreaded prank and faced the dire consequences (either punishment or injuries…or both!). Now , there are millions of prank videos (most of them staged) to be watched within the safety of the screen.
And I suppose the big difference is, back then, when kids pulled some prank, it’s really just to pull a stupid prank, and not for views!
May we all remain curious, and more importantly, may the world be safe again so we can safely explore once more.