Would we have as teenagers back then?

I have been substitute teaching mainly middle school and high school for just over a year now. Since January 2023 I’ve been long term subbing in ISS (In School Suspension) and filling in regular classes as needed for middle school/junior high. Basically 6-8th grades so I have discovered quite a few things these past few months about teens and preteens.

Kids today are not different and yet very different from my generation, especially in regards to social media, technology, and the internet. I’m Gen X. Of course social media didn’t exist when I was their age. Heck, video games didn’t exist until I was in high school. Computers and the internet didn’t exist until I was in college.

Teenagers still have their heroes, idols, and role models just like teens have had for eons. The type of role models and heroes have changed though. Just like we did, teens keep up and follow what is going on with their idols. Instead of magazines like Teen Beat, today’s teenagers use TV and the internet to keep up with their favorite celebrities.

Adults like to rant about how kids are so addicted to TikTok and other social media platforms. How the kids are constantly posting dance moves, “challenges”, and other things we consider silly or stupid. etc.

Welp, as a preteen or teenage girl I can tell you if TikTok had existed back then, GenX would have been all over it! Doesn’t anyone remember singing into your hairbrush? Or practicing dances like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”? Or the Kevin Bacon “Footloose” dance? Madonna’s Vogue video? I mean we had to stop the movie/video and rewind a gazillion times to get the moves down. You can bet we would have uploaded that stuff in a heartbeat if it had been an option!

As GenXers we were the original “daring doerers” (is that a word?) We built ramps and jumped our bikes, Big Wheels, and skateboards on them. We ran riot in large mobs throughout the neighborhood. We played Red Rover just for the opportunity to closeline a friend in the neck. Again, we definitely would have uploaded our antics if possible. With the camcorder we were able to tape ourselves doing all sorts of stupid things. At least until our parents realized we took the expensive camcorder…

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