Recently , I have participated on a committee that is about setting up a Wellness room for the students at a high school and junior high; this room is to help them cope with their anxiety , stress and depressive moods. I can’t help wondering what if… What if this was like 1962?
That era, had sock hops, (like dancing at Arnolds restaurant). By the way, there are no more school dances and my guess is that there’s probably too much liability to hold one at a business. Boomers and Gen X also had Hot Rods (too much car insurance for those of the male gender), wore no seatbelts and souped up cars? Girls became cheerleaders and seemed to have fun doing it (too sexist for our time). They hung out at the Arcade, well that got a bad rep, became banned from Cornwall’s Streets. How about a night at the drive-in? Well, that was just too much fun and might lead to promiscuity and as the song goes «pave paradise put up a parking lot …or a Mall (Seaway drive-in on Pitt Street North). Now, kids just stay at home with their X-box or other similar device.
Those in the suburbs could swim in a lake, or quarry–oh how I remember those days! Now, no trespassing! They would get together and hang out at the beach. Now, it’s too expensive and I know in some places you have to pre-book. How’s that for spontaneous fun! They hung out at Arnold’s (What? Fast food ??? The surgeon general states that it will kill you!). They got together and played football or frisbee (Without a coach? Oh and you might touch someone!). Back then, they even got together to listen to records, under a black light and psychedelic posters but why? We have ear pods now!
We all hung out at the mall. Some of our friends probably had jobs at an Orange Julius or something like that. Well Amazon is the new wave shopping, where are the part time jobs for students going? For some of the teens back then, there was a second phone line put in, because there was that need to connect even when your friends were not around.
Yes the phone, now that we have removed everything else, they can always have the cell phone. I see them walking, side by side, on their phones, an extension of their bodies. Perhaps talking with other friends. And if they forget or lose their phone, their anxiety sky rockets. The need for human contact is real (bring back the dances) the need to develop social skills is real, the need to develop life skills is real , like taking a city bus or letting them walk home instead driving them everywhere. Then at 18 send them off to college in a foreign city and hope for the best. Well at least with Cell phones we can track where they are right ? Phew we can all sleep better now. I’m pretty sure being a teen in 1962 was more fun.
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