Memories, how are yours, good, bad or indifferent?
I was out walking last night and as I was pounding the pavement, I noticed a conker shell that had been opened and it got me thinking about my childhood back in the 1970s. I don’t often get nostalgic but I do often think about the old days. Being of a certain age and Ex-Royal Navy my children do, on occasion, call me Uncle Albert!
I started thinking about that conker and how we used to play conkers as kids. How you spent hours collecting them then soaking them in vinegar to make them harder and finally have the conker fights in the playground with your pals. Bragging rights came from who had the conker that smashed everyone else’s. Then as my thoughts started to drift. Always conscious of what is around me, I noticed I hadn’t seen another person in the 2 miles I had walked. Bearing in mind I am walking through houses and green space and still not come across anyone else. It was only six o’clock at night.
Memories of the 1970s
So, as the conkers thoughts moved to other games we used to play to amuse ourselves before the Internet and gadgets. Who out there remembers playing British bulldogs, hopscotch or marbles? There are many more and I would be interested in your memories. The first thing we always did when school was finished was to go out to play. In winter it was tended to be football, in summer it would be a tennis racket or cricket bat. But my point is we were outside in all weathers the only technology we had was a television with 3 channels and a wireless or radio for all of you under 40.
Has technology taken all the fun out of childhood?
To come to my point, I didn’t see any children playing and my question is – has technology taken all the fun out of childhood? Or has childhood been shortened from 14 years to 2 years? I was on holiday last week in Spain and lost count of the number of small children sitting at tables or in pushchairs watching cartoons or something or other on a tablet or mobile phone. To be fair, most of the time the parents were staring at their mobiles as well. What has happened to the art of communication?
As a technology consultant, I am not advocating we return to the 1970s or get rid of technology. What I am saying is there is a time and a place for everything. In work, definitely technology works and gives a good return on investment but what is so important that everybody has to be glued to their mobile phones at all times?
Before the start of the school holidays, I read an article about how expensive it is to keep children occupied during the holidays. This makes me laugh, have children lost the ability to amuse themselves. Back in my teenage years, I had a bad stomach ulcer and was off school for a few weeks. I devised a game of cricket and football that used dice and a pad of paper and kept myself amused for hours on end. During the summer holidays, we used to go out and play depending on the weather. That could be cycling 10 miles to go swimming or just jumping in the local canals to cool off. Cost nothing!
I don’t recall my parents giving us any money we just made do. I have this vision of not being home for 48 hours and my Mum saying “anyone seen Chris” my sisters saying “no” oh well my Mum says “He will turn up when he gets hungry” – oh the memories and oh how we laughed.
How times have changed!