The Future is the Past’s Remix by Micah

Photo By Cartoon Network

If you have been living under a rock during the last couple of years or you have not noticed yet, childhood nostalgia has been a persisting trend especially various platforms on the internet. It is no longer just photos of this and that for #ThrowbackThursday or #FlashbackFriday, the internet is filled with comparisons of the current generation’s experiences with those of the past. And a particular group that is experiencing childhood nostalgia are the children of the ’90s. We kind of have a gut feeling about how different today’s childhood is what it once was. But are the differences really that different? Check this lowdown of childhood experiences and be the judge.

Cartoons
Then: Before, cartoon shows on televisions only had one purpose – it has to be entertaining. Cartoon shows have that mass appeal that transcends age gaps. There were a plethora of cartoons that are watched by young children and even older teens. Cartoon characters were varied and storylines were very interesting. We had the Ninja Turtles, Looney Tunes, and even Anime. In addition, when a show is really good (like those Saturday specials), children then tend to block off that schedule just to stay home and watch.

Now: In this generation, cartoons have diversified, and thus, they now serve many purposes rather than entertaining children. For instance, animated shows for preschool children are meant to teach them the ABCs, numbers and so much more – thus the ‘talking TV’ trend. Shows for school-aged children have to be educational whether they teach something academic or something that is values-based think of all those Disney Channel Shows and stories of friendship on Cartoon Network. Either that or it’s a cartoon about zombies, fashionable characters, or something with lots of fights. Cartoons for preteens tend to have more grown-up humor such as in Adventure Time and Amazing World of Gumball. Additionally, children no longer have to stick around to watch a show if they have something else planned. Shows can now be recorded for later watching and there’s always the internet for streaming too.

Movies
Then: It used to be that production companies Then: It used to be that production companies had to come up with unique ideas to get children to go out, line up, and see a movie. Disney was on the front line of animated movies with songs you cannot get out of your head, there were a few books turned movies and there were entertaining family movie types of films. Anyone who wanted to see a movie again after its release in theatres had to wait for months for the film to be released in VHS tapes or DVDs.

Now: Nowadays, children can access movies without even going to a movie theatre. There is Netflix, various sites for internet streaming, and so on. Also, there has been a surge of remakes of popular is children’s animated classics into live-action movies like Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland, etc. Other popular movies for children include comic book franchises, games and books turned into a series of movies. There are a few novel ideas that come out from Pixar and DreamWorks from time to time, those being the digitally animated ones with possible 3D features.

Video Games
Then: Well, let us just say that having the best video game was not the highlight of childhood during the previous decades. Children used to love playing outside, collecting plushies, action figures, Barbie dolls, cars, playing board games and so on. The video games like Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Street Fighter, Tekken, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Sonic and Resident Evil were lots of fun but the focus was on playing the game with friends. Also, we started most games on Family Computers, Atari, and Sega and the wait for new games took really long.

Now: If it is not playable on cross platforms (video game consoles and handheld gadgets and computers), chances are children are not going to be interested in it. The video games of this generation have a high emphasis on graphics, massive sound, and having the experience of being in the game itself. And since we live in the digital age, the turnaround time of new games and updates is pretty quick and the game makers make lots of money churning out updates that need to be paid for quickly.

Music
Then: Music has always been a big thing for young people. What used to be giant boom boxes lugged around by teens became Walkmans and Discmans. Music was beginning to be played everywhere and it was a general idea – there was not a lot of music specifically catering to children except maybe for lullabies. Boybands, girl bands, and pop acts were perhaps the closest thing for school-aged children.

Now: The Digital age has revolutionized the way people listen to music. Streaming, downloading, and overall portability now allows even the youngest member of the family to have access to music. There are albums specifically for young children, educational songs, lullabies, heck, even Mozart and The Beatles music has versions for babies! And it does not stop there, audio companies are catering to young music lovers with headphones for kids and apps for family listening pleasure.

Basically, with gadgets these days being more integrative, children can now listen to music, watch videos, play games, and communicate with others wirelessly. There are obvious perks and pitfalls with the continuous advancement of technology, especially when it comes to our children. While it is great that they seem to be making the most of what they have, we cannot seem to wonder how these changes are affecting their growth and their childhood. Is there even a childhood to speak of when children have access to almost the same thing as adults?

Perhaps the childhood nostalgia phenomenon comes from the previous generation realizing just how much they enjoyed their experiences, how they miss being children, and how much the children of today are missing out on. Perhaps in our heart of hearts, we feel like the children of today are not being ‘children’ as we know it or that they seem to be growing up too fast.