Seriously. I was thinking about this today while I was washing my hair and listening to Pandora radio on my iPhone. If I had the kinds of things that kids have today to occupy my attention, I would have never been bored. To be fair, it's not like being a teenager in the 90's was horrible, we had cable TV and Nintendo and I mean hell, I could take a stick and a trash can lid and entertain myself for hours when I was a kid. But, I can only imagine how much more awesome my childhood would have been if I had an Xbox 360, a computer with high speed internet and a smartphone, to name a few.
Think about it, a kid today can wake up, jump on the Xbox, text some friends and if they can't come over, no big deal, jump on Xbox Live and game with each other over the net. Then, if that gets old, go mess around on the computer for a while, surf the net. Mom wants to go to the store, cool, there's a freaking DVD player in the car and maybe even another Xbox hooked up in there. Don't want to be bored in the store, so plug the headphones in to the iPod or smartphone and listen to music or watch videos while you follow mom around with a look on your face like you couldn't be more miserable in your fantastical, electronic wonderland.
You know what, just the high speed internet drives me crazy. When I was a hormone-fueled teenager, I had to hide a stash of porno magazines under my bed and it was the same 5 or 6 magazines and they didn't even show penetration back then. I had every picture memorized to the point that I was almost sick of them but if I got too greedy and built up too large of a collection, I risked my parents catching me and then the whole pile would be in the trash or, more likely, returned to my dad's drawer where I pilfered them from in the first place. Yes, checking out hand-me-down porn from the early 80's was how most of my generation worked through puberty. If I had access to the internet? That vast sea of filth and depravity? Forget about it. Once I learned how to properly clean my history I would have been an unstoppable force of nature, jerking my way off along the information superhighway. Oh to be a teenager in a world where girls have been so desensitized by scat and piss porn and seeing amputee midgets fisting chicks asses that asking them for a casual blow job seems downright friendly and innocent.
I remember playing Super Mario Bros. for hours on end, getting to the point where I could beat the game sprinting the whole way and using all the shortcuts without dying. A game like Call of Duty would have made my head explode. That was the stuff we used to play out in the field. Back then, a first-person shooter involved BB guns and the losers were the ones with the most welts at the end of the day. MMORPGS? Forget about World of Warcraft, we used to play good old Dungeons & Dragons with pen and paper and multi-sided dice and all anyone ever wanted to do was find the inn and bang wenches. Maybe, if we were lucky, we might actually make it to the entrance of the dungeon before it got dark and everyone had to go home. Even when I was a kid, being bored meant you just weren't trying hard enough, but to be bored today? I think that would make you an asshole.
When I was a teenager, I had three ways of connecting with my friends - the house phone, a pager and "the hill". The house phone was the early contact device, you called everyone as early as possible in the evening so you could catch them before they left. Hopefully, if they did leave, they had the cool kind of parents who would tell you where they went (or where they said they were going, which would still let you know where they really went) instead of the parents who just said "He's not here" and hung up. If you were one of the lucky kids who's parents didn't think pagers were only for doctors and drug dealers, then you could page them and find out what was up as soon as they could get to a phone. I remember all my friends had different code numbers so that whenever I got a page from a number I didn't recognize, the code would let me know who to ask for when I called. Yeah, I had a pager, but only because I sold weed. Then there was "The Hill". The hill was a vacant lot across the street from the Texaco in town where everyone would go and park their cars every evening and just hang out there as more and more people drove by, recognized their friends and stopped themselves. Eventually, when a sheriff cruised by and hit us with the spotlight, we knew it was time to move before we got hassled and that's when the group would come to a consensus as to where to relocate the party. If you didn't make it to the hill before the party relocated to one of the many isolated party spots out in the country, then you had to wait for someone to cruise back into town to bring the girls to use the bathroom or get more beer or something, unless we got lucky and one of the rich kids was borrowing their parent's car with a car phone in it and then you had about 5 minutes to talk to them or else the bill would be ridiculous.
I can only imagine having a smartphone then. Everyone being able to call each other or send unlimited texts to coordinate the party? Not having to risk getting busted by the county sheriff with beer in the trunk waiting for the rest of the crew to show up so you could follow each other to the bonfire out at the weir? Social interaction today is fucking easy mode!
And Facebook... well, I am actually kind of glad there wasn't Facebook when I was in high school. It's bad enough being an awkward, insecure and goofy teenager when it's only a small group of friends who witnessed most of your embarrassing fails. Having it broadcast to the entire social network, with accompanying photos, and then enduring your family members trying to defend you and only making it worse... yeah, that would have sucked all kinds of balls. It was easy enough to be humiliated in front of the entire school without a permanent photographic record going viral in cyberspace.
Although, banging my hot teachers would have probably been a lot easier.
But yeah, it kind of annoys the piss out of me when I see kids complaining about being bored these days. There are so many ways to mindlessly kill hours upon hours of free time that I don't see how any kid or teenager could be bored, unless they're just a bunch of jaded pricks. I guess that's just the way we are though, I mean I was certainly bored in a world of Nintendo and cable TV and hours-long phone calls with my friends, my parents grew up without video games and they only had about 4 channels and you could only talk on the phone until someone else on the party line had to make a call, plus the cord was only about 3 feet long and you had to sit at the kitchen table in front of the whole family. If I got bored as a kid with all the stuff I had, growing up in my parents generation would have been torture. I don't buy it with today's generation, though. The Xbox is fucking ridiculous, the internet is amazing and smartphones are unbelievable. I would have spent all day creating websites and become a dot com billionaire if I would have grown up with the internet we have today. Who am I kidding, I would have died of dehydration in my room after masturbating for 96 hours straight. One thing's for sure though, I wouldn't have been bored!