7 Reasons to Be Happy You Grew Up Before Social Media

Automotive Social

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media…I meet fabulous people and strike up amazing conversations. However, I’m so grateful I grew up before Facebook and YouTube, before Instagram and Twitter and all the rest.

Below are the seven reasons I’m MOST grateful:

#7 – No videos of me in gym class.

Any of you star athletes might not understand what the rest of us gawky teenagers felt like (or looked like) in the gym class uniform. Yes, “back in the day” we had to wear uniforms. And take showers. Those hideous shorts always gave a good wedgie, and the idea of cellphones capturing that madness for social media gives me the willies.

#6 – My secret crushes and love notes stayed secret.

Unless I outed myself, or the object of my desire saw the reams of paper featuring our names together, the love and longings in my middle school Pee Che Folders stayed private. Privacy is a rare commodity for teens today and I feel sorry for them.

#5 – No cyber-bullying.

Seriously. How horrifying would it be if the bullies who chased you home could come crashing into your bedroom at an time? For today’s kids with video, photos and social media, the torture can go on 24/7 if the bully is dedicated enough.

#4 – No photos of me in shoulder pads/parachute pants/(fill in the blank).

Oh. My. God. The photos of me with short hair. In my brother’s hand-me-down corduroys with the big rectangle patches ironed on the knees. With the crazy “Facts of Life” bangs that stuck straight up. None of those photos survived. Yaaaaaaay!

#3 – My table dancing remains anonymous.

Long before Coyote Ugly came out, the rest of us were dancing on bar tops and tabletops in bars. My two fave table dance hot spots in Columbia, MO (Go Tigers!) were Déjà Vu and the long-gone Doc & Eddy’s (locally called “Box and C*@ks”). Thank God no one got that on YouTube. I was fabulous…and no one has any evidence.

[Quick shout-out here to my WANA-pal, Callene Rapp, who Pushed It with me on top of that Doc & Eddy’s bar.]

#2 – Conversations with strangers.

I used to have the best chats on public transportation. Nowadays, the buses in San Francisco are dead silent. Like cemetery silent. Nobody talks, and everyone’s face is in their phone. Ditto with all the other public conversation hot spots. I have to go into my phone these days if I want a conversation in public with a stranger. How sad is that?

And the #1 reason I’m delighted I grew up before social media…

Gaga Selfie StickThe Selfie Sex Stick.

Okay, I get the selfie craze. I’ve had the Dale Carnegie training – I know people love to talk about themselves. But unless I take up a career in gynecology or proctology, I don’t want to see the insides of people’s genitals. Really. Y’all can Facetime your vajayjay with someone else.

Some things really DON’T need to be photographed.

However, if you simply must know more about this “infrared-camera-up-the-hooha” stick, watch Annabelle Knight of Lovehoney TV. Her accent makes this product sound so classy. 

This SVACOM Gaga is available on Amazon – currently on sale for under $160 with free shipping. [The reviews are well worth clicking on that link.]

Did you grow up before social media was a regular part of life? Why are you grateful for that? What do you think you missed? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!


p.s. If you want to know more about spies, and how to write them correctly, check out Piper Bayard’s post at Writers In The Storm today — Writing Spies: Which Agency Does What to Who?

Top photo credit: Automotive Social – Flickr – CC license 2.0
Selfie stick photo: courtesy of Amazon

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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40 Responses to 7 Reasons to Be Happy You Grew Up Before Social Media

  1. Great list Jenny! I’d have to add I’m glad I grew up before social media because of the slang. OMG (hey I knew that one) I would have been such an outsider because I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with all the abbreviations and slang. I had enough trouble differentiating between gnarly and gross back in my day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL. We had gnarly and “so rad!” (Obviously I grew up in Southern California.) Periodically I come across internet slang that stumps me and I run to Google. I do adore Google. 🙂


  2. yvettecarol says:

    We were ‘mods’ in my day, with retro clothing and multiple piercings, and we partied hard every single weekend. Lucky break, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jess Witkins says:

    Ok, the crushes remaining anonymous thing is GOOD. And I certainly don’t need a lot of selfies highlighting my big teeth, glasses, and cowlicks. I know, I sound so hot, but I’m not THAT conceited. 😛

    Huh, how long do you think it would take to upload a VHS tape? I have some great early MTV music videos to share and a vintage pickle commercial starring Ringo Starr!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yeah, high school was tough enough without all that goes on now. and that stick camera? I’m still shuddering over that! I laugh at myself sometimes because I panic about leaving the house without my phone, but I spent most of my life going places without a phone. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. K.B. Owen says:

    Jenny, this is SO TRUE! With camera phones everywhere and instant sharing, no one gets time to say: “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t put that out there for all the world to see.” I wonder what fashion craze is currently being immortalized that will make people want to hide in a corner 30 years from now…

    Thanks for a fun post! And, no, I’m NOT clicking on that product to read the reviews, because then it will pop up on my email and Facebook sidebars…which are right now sporting window blinds and shelving units. I’m good with that. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Awww, c’mon, Kathy! You know the “Gaga” is way more scintillating than your shelving units. No one else sees your sidebar anyway…well, except those teenage boys. Hmmm…


  6. markbialczak says:

    Yeah, back in our day, if somebody wanted to stalk us, they had to follow us on onto our school bus and … Who am I kidding, Jenny, never happened to me!

    That product video is really ridiculous, officious U.K. accent and host name, Honey, or not. I mean exterior selfie poles are bad enough, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Felicia says:

    Great article, Jenny and spot on! I’m glad I grew up before social networking because we didn’t have all the distractions of cellphones, apps, tweets and posts. Life wasn’t perfect, but we had real conversations and didn’t have the [added] stress of worrying about who was going to say what about us online either publicly, or even worse…anonymously. #babyboomersrock

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL, Felicia. I just missed the Baby Boomer cutoff, but my Gen X was the same way. We had time to reflect and dream and imagine without any input at all. It was truly a gift. 🙂


  8. Unlike KB, I clicked on that link. OK. So! They make Smart Phones to video your kid’s performance in a play. Don’t kill the ratings for this redunkulous unique product simply because you chose to use it for one of its two potential functions.

    Other reasons I’m glad there wasn’t social media when I was a kid — or even a very (we’re talking VERY) young adult here. *Nose Pinocchio syndrome activates. WRINK, WRINK, WRINK*.

    How about the time I wasn’t looking where I was going and slammed into a huge pole at the mall? Then, stepped back and apologized to it? How about the post-banquet decision I made to go swimming with attendees at a training session I conducted. The one where I was tipsy toppled and chose to show off my Esther-Williams-worthy back dolphin…in the shallow end of the pool…and sported scabs on the end of my nose and chin during the closeout workshop the next day?

    Worse!!! What if someone had been able to track my iPhone when I was a teen? My fake babysitting gig might have been uncovered before my younger sis took it over when I went to college. THAT would have killed some teenage glee.

    Good to be back!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      OMG, I used to do that utility pole slam all the time when I was dreaming my way down the street. However, I’ve got nothing to touch the Esther Williams move.

      And isn’t it a rite of passage to lie to your parents about where you are, without having GPS tell them? Geesh.


  9. Her accent is really funny: Fun-ts-tk. And I like how she gets 3/4 of the way through the video before she actually states that it’s a sex toy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Like I said, Richard…she totally tried to class up the “Gaga.” I cut out the first 35 seconds because they were repetitive, and focused on her hands. She doesn’t really “get into it” (if you know what I mean) until she starts with the “vibration patterns.”


  10. I am completely in agreement on 4 and 6 – but oh, so want to watch those videos of you dancing on tables. It is completely unfair that this is withheld from the general public. I protest!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m glad I was raised before the internet. I’d have missed out on street tag. That’s basically hide-n-seek over a several block area – at night. Yeah, it sort of involved trespassing so we could hide in garages, sheds, trees, and shrubbery, but it was fun. I’d have also missed out on hundreds of miles of bike rides, ball games, raking fall leaves into floor plans for the houses I hoped to have one day (yeah, I’m weird), five mile walks to the theater downtown, and hours and hours and hours of reading in my room, or under a shade tree. Yeah. I feel sorry for kids today too. I would have hated to be SO connected to a piece of plastic that I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without it in my hand. And yes, I know lots of people who can’t even do that without their phone (hopefully NO selfies from there!).

    LOL on the video.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so glad the price finally came down on those selfie joy sticks. I’ve been waiting to get mine until they went on sale and now – well – tis my lucky day. I may even get one to give as a gift since they are now in the – affordable – range.

    What the F&$% is that all about? Who thought of this and why is it important and who the F*$% spends money on those contraptions? I know that’s a lot of effing questions, but that is just over the top f$&@ing ridiculous.

    Now, parachute pants and dancing on bars is cool and important stuff that should never be forgotten. Post those pix lady. I want to compare yours to mine.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Patricia, this is exactly my point. Who got the bright idea that ANYONE wanted to see their internal organs? That takes selfie-fever to the level of cray-cray.


  13. OMG I couldn’t watch the video I just don’t even want to know! And yes I as so glad their aren’t pics of my making out with boyfriends in the hallway of my high school!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What will they think of next? 🙂 Unfortunately, I did have my secret crushes aired – my little brother took my diary and showed it to everyone on the block. I’ve never recovered from the embarrassment!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Funny, as I grew up in the era before social media exploded, and now I am fully deep into it. I remember when cell phones first came out, wearing a beeper, and phone chat lines. It was a fun simpler time, yet I do love modern social media too. Gotta roll with the times. Selfie sex stick and all!

    Liked by 1 person

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