What did we do in the 90s for validation? How did we survive without likes? We didn’t survive, we thrived.
A like in high-school for us was a person TELLING us they liked our shirt. And that like felt a lot better than the thoughtless one you now get on that post of you in your new shirt. The habitual click of the heart as they keep going, mindlessly scrolling, truly not caring at all about your photo.
To compare yourself to another was to look at a human being and wish you had their body, hair, makeup, and so on…as opposed to staring at an already beautiful person photoshopped to what can only be described as a cyborg of unattainable perfection.
A desire to be liked fell upon our peers; people we saw, and knew. Now the desire to be liked is by as many complete and utter strangers as we possibly can. People who are completely insignificant in our lives. It is equivalent to trying to get the person in line behind you at the bank to like you. They. Don’t. Matter. Yes, we used to line up at the bank. I’m not even 40 yet, however this is making me feel ancient.
When we made bad choices in high-school – in our actions and in our fashion – proof of those days live on through our memories, or perhaps one roll of film from an entire year. Yes, we had rolls of film, which we had to drop off to be developed and then line-up to pick it up an hour later if they provided one hour service. And we didn’t care what the guy in line behind us thought of us either by the way. We did however care what the man developing it did, as he was privy to some top secret underage drinking evidence. Just one man, who then handed the evidence over for us to keep in our physical photo albums safe in our bedroom. Not posted online for the world to view at the click of a finger for the rest of your life.
A breakup led to rumours of a new relationship, not seeing it first hand on your screen. A fight between friends resolved itself on the schoolyard, or via phone call, not online for all the school to see and comment on.
Hanging out with friends was hanging out with friends, there were no phones to distract.
To be bullied, the bully needed the courage to come up to you, where as now they don’t even need to show you who they are.
Teachers couldn’t judge you based on your online presence, friends couldn’t creep your personal life from their beds at night, parties weren’t seen unless you attended, and life was amazing.
Cheers to the good old days, and God help our children navigating this shit show.