Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How My Unique Experience Influenced Me Regarding This...

For all those born in 70's & 80's!

We are the last generation that learnt to play in the street, we are the first who've played video games, see cartoons in color and went to amusement parks. We were the last to record songs of the radio on cassettes and we are the pioneers of walkmans and chatrooms...We learned how to program the VCR before anyone else, play with the Atari, Super......Nintendo and believed that the Internet would be a free world all on a 56kbit modem. Traveled in cars without seat belts or air-bags & lived without cell phones. Rode our bicycles down the road without brakes. We never had phones but still kept in touch. We did not have play stations, 99 television stations, flat screens, surround sound, mp3s, iPods, computers and broadband...but nevertheless we had a GREAT time

This is a post circulating on fb. I fit this time line, but I didn't have these experiences. I never got to play on the streets, play video games, or watch cartoons. I might've recorded songs onto cassettes, but I've had like zero music exposure which is tragic considering how many CD's my mom had. I was never on chatrooms. IM was something I discovered as an adult. Never tinkered with the VCR. I feel like I'm going to cause an uproar by revealing that I have no idea what Atari is. Never played Super.....Nintendo. Much like chatrooms, internet came into my life when I became an adult. I certainly lived without cell phones and continued to long after everyone else became glued to it. I would've continued to if it weren't for the fact that I lived by myself, and it just didn't seem wise. I still don't find it necessary the way others are conditioned to believe. So I can safely say that as the above states - I didn't have play stations, 99 television stations, flat screens, surround sound, mp3s, iPods, computers, and broadband. I wish I could say I had a good time, but I started enjoying life during the mature phase of adulthood. Better late than never right?

I'm not happy with my childhood by any means, but I'm happy with the person I've become and I can honestly say my upbringing was a HUGE influence. I've spent so much time saying that I'm proud of who I've become which really just means I'm glad I didn't turn out the way so many people suspected I would, the way people who've had my upbringing turn out. Who I am is a huge testament to my strong identity and natural resilience. I'm proud of that, honestly. But I can't say I wish I didn't have a different childhood cuz I feel incredibly deprived and not just cuz I didn't experience these superficial things. This is just a reminder is all.

I have co-workers who tell me that they don't let their children watch TV at all. I can understand a parent's hesitation to expose their young ones to what the media wrecklessly dishes out, and obviously some filtration should take place. But complete shelter or denial or any kind of exposure to their own culture, I believe has its own damages. I nearly failed an English class cuz I didn't know Care Bears was a TV show. This obviously isn't detrimental, but without careful and selective limitation, it's essentially a misguided form of enstilling ignorance. That's no good, either. I get that not every parent has the time to scrupulously make selections, but I think it's important to realize there's danger in total oblivion, too. That's what my experience has taught me. Of course I'm not saying if you grew up in the ghetto that you should be exposed to what's offered on the streets, but indiscriminate shielding is a form of creating ignorance.

Not that I think children never watch TV cuz their parents don't allow it. They're bound to see it somewhere else. That's inevitable. But I don't think it should be a shock. Granted people shouldn't become numb to the violence and see it as the norm, either, which we risk being conditioned into believing through exposure. But some TV is good. Life has both good and bad. We can't or shouldn't cover up the bad by covering everything up. That's just how I feel.

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