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Various studies and articles have been popping up via the media recently involving millenials and what it is like for them growing up now.
One of the things mentioned was the damage social media has done. With millions of feeds showing people going out, having fun and doing things some feel this creates pressure on them to lead an exciting rounded life.
Then you have the job situation, gone are the times when you went through a newspaper ad and competed with a handful of people. Now hundreds can apply for one position.
I look at times now and think that we have come a long way. For instance various members of my family migrated to Britain in the 60s. They faced challenges and racism I couldn't even imagine.
Then you have those that lived through the wars and the effects thereafter such as rationing. Again something I couldn't imagine.
So is life really harder now?
I must admit it is very different now. Back in the 60's there wasn't the expectation of instant gratification for everything. Couples got married and set up home often with secondhand everything except the mattress and gradually saved to make that home what they wanted. The same with cars, one per household was the dream of most and once babies came along the other vehicle was a pram. The school run had yet to be invented!! Mortgages were much more difficult to obtain with at best only a third of the woman's salary being taken into consideration. Yes, there were fewer people chasing each job and it was possible to leave one job on Friday and find another on Monday morning, but there had been a lot of people killed in the Second World War and the country was still recovering. Motoring was a pleasure to be enjoyed at the weekend with a drive around the countryside and a picnic in the summer being possible without hitting traffic jams. No pressure from 24 hour TV with all the adverts for must haves. No walking around with a mobile phone in the hand, you were lucky if you had a landlines at home, and certainly no Internet with social media to spoil, or make, your day. Money was tighter so meals out and trips to the bars were fewer and far between and a Saturday night at the pictures was or highlight. Possibly a lot harder now if you take social media seriously and have a few enemies, but you just have to develop a thick skin and learn that not everything on social media is the truth.
After leaving school in the mid 1960s and in my first job, I went to one house to repair a relay wireless speaker and the old lady asked me what this new fangled electricity was all about as she was having it installed soon!
Up to this point she just had gas for lighting and cooking and a relay speaker for entertainment.
My brothers first house in the 60s had an outside toilet and a removable worktop in the kitchen that exposed a bath with no taps. Friday night was bath night and the bath was filled with hot water from pans on the stove. His wife took first dip and then he followed.
I don't think it is just a case of things being better or worse but just much more media coverage of bad news. With so much 24 hour news coverage it can't be easy to find enough news to fill all the now available airtime. So they endlessly repeat older news items. I was never one who believed in the so called "good old days" anyway.
Ah - the good old daze.
In 1948 we moved into a wooden bungalow, clad inside with asbestos sheeting. We had 3 rooms - 2 bedrooms and a living room/kitchen. Our water supply was a tap on the back of next door's outside toilet and our toilet was a chemical contraption in the back garden. This had to be emptied regularly. I don't remember where the tin bath was kept but it came out every Friday evening and was filled from kettles heated on the electric hob (we didn't have gas).
I don't remember being unhappy or uncomfortable - we didn't know any better. Today with hot and cold running water and central heating it's hard to understand how that was possible.
The problem today is that everything is instant and even leisure, for the young seems to be at a pace. I don't wish to return to the old days but I'm glad to be retired, settled and out of the rat race.
I lived in London through the WW2 Blitz, rationing etc. Normal to collect and swap shrapnel ; visit bomb sites, father KIA. Later in 1970 odd at a salary of £2500 bought a dormer bungalow in Bucks to commute to Hayes / Acton for £10,000. Ie about 4 times salary. I now live elsewhere, but the same house, admittedly with improvements is, according to Rightmove, over £1,000,000. A 30 year old these days would need to earn £250,000 to have the same mortgage. I am so sorry for the young such as a granddaughter who has a Master's and Uni debts of £55,000 and no chance of buying a house anywhere near London on a salary of around £20,000. That is the huge difference in the South - houses are becoming unaffordable.
There have been huge differences over the decades,the stories i have heard of my parents childhood before the advent of the NHS and Welfare made me look upon them in a new light.
I think for me in light of those stories that the major difference is that we have moved from the age of the selfless to that of the selfie.The me,me,me generation even if they have concerns about racism,fascism and so on,it all comes back to them.At least the older generation rolled up their collective sleeves and got on 'with it'.
It's certainly more difficult for some of the elderly - less care available and more things expected to do online very difficult when your in your nineties and have never used a computer.
Te youngster also have problems with job prospects however unemployment is not high - but with a prediction that 1 in 5 jobs will go to a robot by 2030.
Access to information is easy for the youngsters (just ask google) but I think life appears to be much "shallower" now
The world changes all the time, so called progress. With the advent of technology comes a price and I don't mean financially.
I've noticed the benefits of tech but unfortunately many have come too late for me. There are many videos out there of people yelling racial abuse at someone. I myself have been subjected to this but of course there were no camera phones at the time.
I've also noticed the difference in social settings. You can go to any restaurant now and see a group of friends eating together however their heads are buried into their individual handsets.
The other day I went to Baby's R Us to get some child supplies and there was a mother with toddlers blocking the entrance to take a selfie.
It seems these days people are all about self more than ever before. People are also quick to get enraged about things, and things said on the internet are taken seriously.
Once upon a time if a message board had thousands of angry messages it was brushed aside. It took actual letters via mail and physical protest to effect change.
House prices are also ridiculous. In Canada the housing market hasn't crashed as yet, so many houses hover around the $800,000+ mark. Houses below that actually sell for above the asking price. With many estate agents posting signs outside or images on their website boasting that they'll get you top price.
This has gotten many simply giving up on ever having property and simply renting instead which essentially is the same price as a mortgage monthly without the down payment.
There are new places that pop up for $300,00+ but of course if you aren't quick they sell out literally overnight in many cases.
Reading the above about the Friday night baths I am amazed. I couldn't imagine not coming home to my hot shower after a long day at work.
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