My childhood, for the most part, was pretty magical. It wasn’t until I was a teen that life showed its true colors, or more appropriately, its lack thereof.

Until that time being a kid was great. Saturday morning cartoons. After-school cartoons. Riding my bike all over the neighborhood. Exploring the woods. Climbing trees. Playing sports. The advent of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Select, Start (bonus points if you get that reference). Waiting by my boombox with a ready finger over the record button for my favorite song to play. Transformers. GI Joe….you get the point, I think.

The world has changed drastically in the 35-40 short years since my childhood. Moreso, I would guess, than any other much longer time span in the history of ever. The world is connected now in ways I couldn’t even conceive of when I was a kid. With today’s technology, you can instantly reach any soul on the planet at any given time.

Social Media

It started with MySpace. Okay, MySpace wasn’t the first social media platform, but it was the first one to become wildly successful and ubiquitous. Then came Facebook. Then Twitter. Then Google+ (hahaha – just kidding). Then Instagram. Snapchat. TikTok. So many ways for people to share their creativity, lives, opinions, and ideas. The thought behind opening the internet to the public was the easy distribution of knowledge. It was called the information superhighway. Humanity, unfortunately, has again ruined a wonderful thing. Too many people use those platforms to misinform, spread hate, and bully others.

Neverending News

I remember my dad watching the news every night and reading a newspaper in the morning. Those were the only avenues of staying informed those days. The news was just that – the news. Journalists had integrity, and the truth was paramount.

CNN launched in 1980, but it took years to catch on. No one I knew watched it, at least. For whatever that’s worth. Now there are 84,624 different 24-hour news channels that taint their news with a bias they perceive to be shared by their audience. It’s about ratings. Shock value. Advertising.

Bill Watterson is the man.

News outlets have a multitude of ways to push their content down our throats. Websites, social media, YouTube, blogs, email, commercials teasing their exaggerated stories, and, of course, their own dedicated cable channels. You have to try not to be informed these days to remain blissfully ignorant of all the things for which you “should” be upset. The result is a misinformed and bitter public.


I don’t get too involved in politics because it’s nearly impossible to do so without a brawl breaking out. In the 80’s, you rarely heard the terms “left” and “right” in reference to political views. At least I didn’t. The two parties that make up our political system had differing ideals, sure, but for the most part, they worked together for the better of our country.

Now it’s Dems this. GOP that. Conservatives. Libtards. tRump. Something something something Brandon. Listening to political discourse these days is like listening to a playground argument at an elementary school. Every politician is more concerned about staying in office than with doing what’s right. Or what the people want. It’s more about pandering to voters than improving our lives.

Last year my then 10-year-old asked me why so many people hated our president. He couldn’t fathom how someone with the most prestigious job in the world could be so reviled. I wasn’t sure how to articulate to him that a pussy-grabbing con artist had somehow convinced an entire party to nominate him and that our country was so desperate for change they voted for him just to get it…so I just shrugged my shoulders and told him I wasn’t sure.

School Shootings

This wasn’t even a thing when I was a child. Yes, they happened in the 70’s and 80’s, but for some reason the media blitz in the wake of the Columbine shooting started a trend of students trying to emulate this act over the past 24 years. So much so that schools are spending millions of dollars for security upgrades and regularly conducting ALICE drills and training. Yes, companies are monetizing school shootings and schools have no choice but to spend tax-payer money for this non-educational purpose.

Just in the last few years, the school district my son attends went from having one SRO for the entire corporation to having one in each school. They’ve covered all their windows so you can’t see in from the outside. In one building where each classroom had windows looking out into the hallways, they took the windows out and put in cinder-block walls. They’ve installed a door-lock system that can lock every classroom door with the press of a keyfob button. They’ve put ALICE kits in every classroom. They run ALICE drills once a semester. They’ve installed panic buttons and gunshot detectors. They’ve developed a reunification plan – a plan that details where everyone should meet up in the wake of an incident and how reunification with parents/guardians would work.

It’s terrifying.

Children Today

Children today are assaulted by all the bullshit flying around over the airwaves. On top of juggling the difficulties of a normal adolescence, they have the added challenges of (anti)social media, sensationalized news outlets, divisive politics, and school shootings.

I am grateful to have grown up when I did. I had a difficult enough time growing up in the circumstances of my day without the added stressors today’s youth face.

This post was inspired by today’s Truthful Tuesday prompt.