TRICK OR TREAT: LOW TECH CHILDHOOD ON LIFE SUPPORT
This isn’t one of thosepost.
This isn’t one of those posts bemoaning how much crappier childhood is today than when I was a kid. Kids today certainly live differently than I did. But childhood isn’t necessarily better or worse. Sure, there’s probably more worrying about what they eat, where they play and who they play with. But I don’t think that’s necessarily because they’re less safe; we’re just more aware of the dangers in the world. Obesity, guns and mental health, among other things, are not to be ignored or laughed off or minimized in ways they maybe were when I was a kid.
The biggest, pervasive, consistent evolution of modern childhood is certainly technology. Cell phones, tablets, social media; all stuff I didn’t deal with as a kid. I was in fifth grade before my school had a computer that kids could use. Students had to sell stained glass sun catchers door to door to raise money to buy an Apple IIe – one computer, singular – to be placed in the library for kids to use. (We did so well, we were actually able to buy two.) was in middle school before we had any sort of computer at home, never had a cell phone until I was a twenty-something professional and was in my thirties before I got a social media account.
But for kids, technology is intertwined completely with the fabric of daily life. I get it. I mostly support it. Kids should still do math in their heads and on paper. A real tree is preferable to a virtual one. But, basically, technology is good.
Still, sometimes tech seems SO ubiquitous, one sort of longs for simpler times. One area that, thankfully,remains low tech just happened last week.
Trick or treat.
Trick-or- treat hasn’t changed much in forever. Put on a costume. Grab a bag. Knock on door. Get candy. It’s been done that way forever. We maybe scrutinize the candy more now – for safety and food allergies. And maybe we don’t let our kids roam unsupervised so much, but, the basic process is the same.
I like that
There were some subtle changes not related to tech. Costumes today tend to be store bough licensed characters, rather than homemade. I did see one kid who earns mad props (I’m hip with the lingo, yo). The kid was dressed as a firefighter, sitting in a wheelchair and his parents had built a fire engine out of cardboard around the chair. It looked awesome.
Another thing was, I heard very few kids actually say their line. All we aske kids to do is yell “trick or treat”. They do that and we give them food. It’s not much to ask. Except not many were doing it. They walk up,grab the candy and off they go. Barely even a thank you. And the candy givers weren’t calling them on it, worried about getting egged? Come on, hold those goblins and superheroes accountable. Make them tell a joke or something.
So, even though the low reach purity of tricks or treats remains intact, the feeling anti- social tendencies of modern life continue their crawl over the modern kid.
But that’s a topic for another time.