25 years ago (or so) I was a teenager. It was a time of complex cultural issues (my parents wouldn’t let me watch Dirty Dancing with my friends) and even more complex clothing (I was still rocking the ruffle skirt two years after the fad had passed).
My daughter, aged 11, is on the cusp of her teen years now and I ponder what kind of teenage world she will enter.
I know I swore I’d never say it, but When I Was A Teenager, the Commodore 64 was a revelation. We crowded around it at a friend’s house the way homo erectus must have crowded around fire. The first time I used a computer for research was in my second year of uni. The first time my son used a computer for research was in his second term of kindergarten.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by CUA – Life rich banking. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
When I was a teenager, my dad’s mobile phone was the size of a bible, we were not allowed to ‘touch the screen’ and its functionality was not intuitive to him or a toddler.
When I was teenager, if I had a question about life, I asked my mum, not Siri.
When I was a teenager I saw my four closest friends at school and only during the school holidays if they lived down the street. Today’s teenagers are constantly connected to the internet and therefore each other. They Tweet, Facebook, Facetime, instant message and text each other. Their lives are instantaneously tracked – everything from the banal to the sublime is captured by status updates sent to their 1327 Facebook friends.
When I was a teenager we deposited our birthday money into the green dragon, or the bank-shaped tin our local branch gave us. My mum then took me physically into the bank where I proudly received my first passbook. For today’s teenager, going into a bank must seem a superfluous activity. Online banking is just a natural extension of Mathletics, homework online and Facebook. It encourages and enables young people to save, using the tools they are comfortable with. I was terrified the first time I banked on-line (seriously, I started sweating) but for my daughter, she will never know any other way to deposit, transfer and track her money.