I have very vivid memories of my childhood.
I remember the summer memories: playing in the mud, the dirt, the rain. I remember making chalk racetracks down our driveway and into the cul-de-sac and acting out scenes from my brother and I's favorite play, Phantom of the Opera.
I remember the winter memories: playing in the snow, bundled up almost to the point where we couldn't move. I remember pretending to be different Arctic animals and sledding down our giant hill in the backyard.
I remember the memories of board games like Mousetrap, Monopoly, and Guess Who. I remember playing spies in the house and in clothing stores while hiding from mom.
My childhood was full of never before discovered worlds and kingdoms that had yet to be conquered. I could be anything I wanted from a princess to Kimpossible, to Christine from The Phantom of the Opera. My imagination would run wild.
All of these memories have something in common: the absence of technology.
My parents encouraged going outside and some days even forced us to. When new games with technology started coming out they didn't buy them for us. We didn't have phones until we were even in high school.
I remember being so jealous of all my friends who had iPods and phones. I wanted them SO bad, but my parents wouldn't budge.
Looking back I am so grateful they never bought us them until later, and I am so happy I grew up in a time before technology was everything.
I see all these kids today with phones or, at least two electronic devices before they are even out of elementary school. They grow up worried about what everyone else is doing. Young girls are comparing themselves to other girls on social media and are more worried about how many likes they get than having actual friends.
Now, I like social media and having my phone just as much as the next person, but I am glad I didn't grow up like that. I am glad I didn't grow up with the pressures of having the perfect hair and perfect outfit and perfect make up. Heck, I didn't even use any makeup until 8th grade and that was only mascara!
All of this technology is limiting some of these kids from growing up in a world of face to face interaction. They are learning how to socialize through phones and iPods and tablets instead of person to person contact. They are growing up in a world where a "like" signifies self-worth and friendship.
I was able to live a life free of all those societal pressures. I was able to grow up without the stress of being "perfect". I was able to be myself and be completely happy with that. And I will forever be grateful for that.