When I was your age…

I am sure almost every one of you would have heard this line from your parents. I know I did. And I was wondering today, would I ever use this line with my kid(s) in the distant future? Something tells me I’m bound to use it. And here’s some of the things I guess I would say to my kid(s) at different phases of their lives.When I was your age…

…I used a pencil and pen for writing.

…my homework, my school assignments and my college assignments were all handwritten.

…I looked up a dictionary (i.e. an actual book) if I didn’t know the meaning of a word.

…”Just Google it” didn’t exist.

…I walked to the corner shop.

…we had a corner shop that sold bread, milk, and other goodies.

…the people working at the corner shop knew us.

…I played football and cricket. Out in the open. With an actual bat and ball.

…I had a big desktop computer that must have weighed a tonne and had several wires attached.

…we had to actually use our fingers to type on the computer’s keyboard if we wanted it to do something.

…I didn’t have a mobile phone. Let alone one with a camera and radio and mp3 and a touch screen.

…blue tooth meant someone with a tooth that was coloured blue. [Why? I don’t know]

…social networking meant going and meeting people face-to-face and engaging with them in person.

…chat meant calling someone over the phone or meeting up with them for drinks or dinner and talking about everything and anything.

…we had landline phones. Phones that were in the house and stayed in the house.

…my parents were allowed to hit me if I did something wrong.

…our teachers were allowed to hit us if we did something wrong.

…you couldn’t get anywhere without studying and getting good marks.

…I read books. Not e-books.

…I read books that were a credit to the English language. They were spelt properly and helped you expand your own language abilities.

…I rode a bicycle. That moved from its spot.

…we only used the microwave oven for reheating food. Not actually cooking it.

…songs had a melody to them and lyrics that made sense.

…people became famous for things far more worthwhile than uploading a video of themselves on the web.

…a friend was someone you trusted and shared your joys and sorrows with. Not just someone you added on a social networking website but have never met.

I’m sure when the time comes, we will all have a lot more to add to this list. Can you think of any others in the meantime?

Until next time,


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  • Rohini
    2 April 2011 at 11:06 pm

    that’s such a ‘sweet and sour’ list. I already tell a lot of this stuff to my niece and nephews. Thankfully, not the books – they are all budding bookworms and love the hard copy.

    We didn’t have a microwave up until a few years ago. There was no reheating other than what was on done on the stove.

    The fridge/freezer was only meant for perishables like fruits, milk and curd or ice cream and ice cubes. we never ever froze anything – there were no ‘ready to eat’ ‘frozen’ ‘microwaveable’ dinners.

    oh.. there was no texing. OMG! LOL! did not even exist, let alone the more complex ones.

    Good read. thank you!

  • Psych Babbler
    3 April 2011 at 12:47 am

    Oh Rohini…I think about some of these with the kids and teens I see at
    work currently. Times do change don’t they…and you can bet we’ll see a lot
    more in the next decade…for all you know, laptops will be considered too
    big by then! Thanks for the comment… 🙂

  • Prateek
    3 April 2011 at 2:12 am

    With time life just got as bigger as Sony Bravia. My mom always use to nag on the kind of facility I get; lets say she provides me.
    Texting and Internet are two most integral part of life. Things will change in future too. Let’s see what I will tell my children
    When I was your age…..

  • Clinhealthpsych
    3 April 2011 at 2:22 am

    I’m already heard some of these sentences come out of my mouth…and the realisation has hit me like a truck! Aiieee.

  • Sribby
    3 April 2011 at 6:50 am

    on dot you’re PB…there would certainly so much to add to the list by the actual time comes 🙂

    >There was only Doordarshan to watch with options like-Duck Tales,Chitrahar,Ramayan and Mahabharat 🙂

    >We were supposed to play in the evening in the play ground with friends

    >Our wardrobe was chosen by our parents we didn’t have so many options in clothes [as kids]

    >We used to have get-tos in summer vacations at grandparent’s house

    >Ice creams and Kulfi were usually bought from the local vendor / a shop in the colony unlike swanky ice cream parlours or coffee / bakery shops 🙂

    >We had no malls to go for shopping and play areas in the shopping complex 🙂

    All in all I would tell my future kids that we surely enjoyed LIFE in real sense !

    Super like the post PB !

  • Nicole Bataclan
    3 April 2011 at 7:29 am

    great post! made me smile!!!! 🙂

  • Bikram
    3 April 2011 at 1:28 pm

    so very right

    no sms no email no mobiles
    sports in the open grounds 🙂

    Loved the list.. I will need to keep a copy of it to use for muself 🙂


  • D
    3 April 2011 at 3:20 pm

    This kind of scares me! I don’t want my kids to not have the pleasures of reading a book, or writing with a pencil. How sad would that be!

  • Psych Babbler
    4 April 2011 at 2:09 am

    Welcome to this space Prateek! Yeah our parents told us about TV and cable
    and the like…we will be talking a lot more re technology. Now we text and
    use the internet…things are only going to get way more advanced in the
    next few decades….

  • Psych Babbler
    4 April 2011 at 2:10 am

    Welcome to this space ClinHealthPsych! Tell me about it…I find myself
    using some of these with clients…or at least thinking it! 😛

  • Psych Babbler
    4 April 2011 at 4:18 am

    Oh yes…when I was in primary school and in Oman Scribby, all I watched was
    Duck Tales on TV and we had this soccer cartoon. And yes, we went to play in
    the evenings rather than tuitions or computer games. And agree in terms of
    the wardrobe too…and of course…shopping malls! How could I forget the
    lack of them while growing up!? 🙂 We had a childhood…I guess we’ll be
    telling our kids what they are missing out on!

  • Psych Babbler
    4 April 2011 at 4:18 am

    Welcome to this space Nicole! Thanks for the comment…glad it could make
    you smile! 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    4 April 2011 at 4:20 am

    Hehe…you know…I just remembered from your comment that I used to
    actually write letters (shock, horror!) to my friends in Oman after I moved
    to Bombay. Kids in the future will never do that! Glad you enjoyed the
    list…I’m sure we can all add a whole lot more!

  • HarithaNair
    4 April 2011 at 6:21 am

    The list can be endless….. But it was a good read. I really enjoyed it, coz I have already started to do a reverse of this. Like, “trusting a person over a cup of coffee and to get committed for a life time instantly can happen only during your time” or “sitting in front of a pile of red-taped government files and to get rotten at the age of 56 can happen only during your time”, or “living a life that matters to the pseudo-morals alone and not for my self at all, can never ever happen to my age”…. etc etc etc… Sure, my next generation is gonna sue me for things sharper than these….. Good work dear! 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    4 April 2011 at 8:59 am

    D…it is a bit scary to think about…I hope that my kids will read books some day…the hard copy…and I’m saving all my books from when I was a kid! As for writing with a pencil…well, given that in kindergarten nowadays they are already using computers, I won’t be surprised if more and more work is just on the comp. Sigh…

  • Psych Babbler
    4 April 2011 at 9:11 am

    Welcome here Haritha! And yes, I’m sure we can add way more points to that! 🙂 And I like the reverse aspect too… I guess yeah, we could be telling our kids in the future “Talking to a computer and getting it to type up all the work can only happen in your time…” Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  • Titaxy
    4 April 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I already find myself thinking of a point or two from your list when it comes to my young cousins, nieces or nephews. If and when I have kids, I do hope to put my best efforts in making them at least learn these little things that brought me joy as a kid 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    5 April 2011 at 1:51 am

    Oh yeah…I definitely already think of some of these when it comes to the
    kids I see in therapy! Just don’t say it out loud yet 😛 And yes T, it would
    be a great thing to get our kids to learn some of these…at least then they
    will also appreciate what they’ve got. We hope.

  • Sandykundra
    5 April 2011 at 8:58 am

    oops! Im even older! when i was young there was only chitrahaar on TV and and videos. Imagine! gr8 post btw

  • Jake Blacksheep
    5 April 2011 at 11:39 am

    – TV wasn’t filled with the garbage called reality T.V
    – my parents would wack the crap out of me for doing something wrong
    – kids learned to play REAL guitar instead of playing guitar hero
    – homosexuality was considered an sin ( I hope i get to say that but the way things are going it doesn’t look like I will be able to say “was” for a pretty long time)

    guess the list is endless, but I think you should be wise enough to move forward with the times. I mean advising the next generation to not use email and hand write letters does not make sense to me. At the same time I hope I don’t live to see the day when kids cannot play real instruments because they are busy playing guitar hero .

  • pallavi
    5 April 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Awesome list, PB. BTw, when I was your age, ‘Prince of Persia’ was the biggest revelation of our life!! 😉

  • Psych Babbler
    6 April 2011 at 1:09 am

    Oh Sandy, when I was in primary I didn’t have cable…it was videos of
    cartoons mainly and some cartoons on TV! 😛

  • Psych Babbler
    6 April 2011 at 1:18 am

    Lol Jake…or maybe, reality TV referred to documentaries and factual
    programs rather than planned stupidity…

    And yeah, hopefully we do get to say the homosexuality thing…I guess one
    thing we can say is that it was illegal (and hopefully won’t be ni as many
    countries in the future!)

    Oh…and one more thing…people were a lot more intelligent!!! 😛

  • Psych Babbler
    6 April 2011 at 1:27 am

    Lol Pal…and it was 2-D Prince of Persia…not 3-d as it is now. I played
    PoP too…nowhere near what it’s like now! 😛

  • Jake
    6 April 2011 at 1:14 pm

    🙂 … documentaries are my fav … I mean there are times when I fight with my sister over the remote for watching wonders of the universe instead of friends lol … but yeah like you said there’s a difference between learning more about science and watching human stupidity out of control.

    I think we are getting over the illegal part of homosexuality pretty fast,
    I mean its already legal in the U.S , Europe and even India. Its just the moral aspect of it , people don’t seem to understand that homo-sexuality is natural, more often than not traditional and religious views are valued about scientific facts.

  • Psych Babbler
    7 April 2011 at 1:11 am

    🙂 Yeah, some countries are legalising homosexuality but we still have a
    long way to go. I hope one day we can say to kids, When I was your age, same
    sex couples were not allowed to get married in 95% of the world…

  • Reema
    24 May 2011 at 5:37 pm

    ahh the good old days!

  • Psych Babbler
    25 May 2011 at 2:17 am

    Hehe…yep…when we actually wrote than typed…:)