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to ask how young people passed their time before they had screens 24/7

(178 Posts)
WeneverownedaniPad Tue 22-Jan-19 09:21:02

This is not a "it were all fields round here" post but ...

DD(14) has been getting a lot of headaches. The optician says it's a combination of tiredness and possibly too much screentime blush so I need to act.

Thing is, her teachers say she gives 100% in school and her behaviour is excellent. I never have to nag her to do homework and she is very sunny-natured - no adolescent mood swings. She trains a couple of evenings and every weekend for the team sport she competes in. The rest of the time she is on her phone/laptop/Netflix. She's not interested in social media and her friends don't seem to "hang out" in real life - probably because they're glued to their bloody phones!

What did we do (those of who are that old!) before there was so much screen time available?

What do your teens do?

whatswithtodaytoday Tue 22-Jan-19 09:23:07

Read books, magazines, newspapers. Chatted to friends on the house phone. Did homework. Watched a LOT more TV than I do now.

jjemimapuddleduck Tue 22-Jan-19 09:23:24

I'm pretty sure at that age that I was smoking behind the bike sheds and snogging boys! And drinking concoctions made from my folks' drinks cabinet! I do wonder if screen time is better than my wild early teens!

planespotting Tue 22-Jan-19 09:24:10

This 😅👆🏻

Auntiepatricia Tue 22-Jan-19 09:24:58

- read a lot of books
- watched TV (rather than small screens) and made do/enjoyed what was on rather than having much choice
- drew a lot of house plans, it was my hobby and kept me busy and focused at times
- in daytime, summer evenings, I rode horses a lot
- sometimes did cooking/baking for fun

Can’t think of much else! tv was the main one in the evenings.

jessstan2 Tue 22-Jan-19 09:25:48

Talked on 'phone, met up with friends, listened to music, read, danced, rode bikes, tried to meet members of opposite sex (is str8), showed some interest in hair and clothes, acted out parts, sang, laughed a lot, could be very serious a lot, maybe drew and painted, wrote letters. Oh and sport if that way inclined. Swimming.

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Tue 22-Jan-19 09:26:08

Surely they did the same as teens do now? They read, did sport, hung out with friends or phoned them and did homework.

They also probably spent just as much time looking at screens in the form of a TV.

minipie Tue 22-Jan-19 09:27:30

Spent hours on the phone (landline) to best mate, saying nothing much
Made compilation tapes
Painted nails then picked off
Read books
Watched terrible tv with parents

Nothing especially constructive tbh, but probably a bit more interaction with others in comparison with your DD.

At the weekends I did at least meet up with friends and mooch around. Does she go out at weekends OP?

MysweetAudrina Tue 22-Jan-19 09:28:18

Hung out on street corners egging cars and getting felt up by lads. Mine are a bit younger than yours and 11 and 10 but they so sports every day and have other activities. I did up a timetable last night on a white board which has allotted them specific times for playing fortnite once chores are done. It was either that or fuck the playstation out the window.

SunnySomer Tue 22-Jan-19 09:28:29

I wonder if posture doesn’t help? Does she hunch over her screens?
I used to: read, play music (instruments, in bands, plus listening to records/tapes), write letters (!!!), make stuff - clothes, craft etc, watch TV, talk on the phone (in rotation with everyone else in the house), go to people’s houses... that’s about it

waterrat Tue 22-Jan-19 09:28:49

They were with their friends . Or they were bored so read / did writing etc.

Remember that street play for all age kids was the norm until recently. At 14 if bored i would hav wandered down the road to see a friend.

RB68 Tue 22-Jan-19 09:29:39

We went swimming, bike rides - just for the pleasure of it (pack a small rucksac with a drink, apple and something else to eat while out and just cycle somewhere I used to go on my own as well as with friends) go to the library and or town on bike, I volunteered at a local theatre as an usher as well so got to see stuff for free (from age 14), reading, board games with siblings, we would write books, play libraries - alll out books had their own pockets with tickets and we had a date stamp - not quite the same with a computer - lol. We also used to make up games for younger sibs - so collecting clean recycling and setting up a shop for them to play shop and being the shopkeeper or customeres. We also used to build amazing dens in the garden and used Dads old scout tent until it fell apart so we were in there in the drizzle - lol

Do you have any relatives good at bike maintenance - he could learn how to do that - always useful, or basic car maintenance. Would he be nterested in growing some veg - from seed with a mini greenhouse and some pots???

I think you need something to help destress him too.

Snugglepiggy Tue 22-Jan-19 09:31:17

As a teenager myself I read a lot.Books I read then have stayed with me.I sewed and made my own clothes, some more horrendous than others when I look back but satisfying to do.I loved art and would draw and paint ,spending hours copying artwork on vinyl LP sleeves to make posters for my room.I sound a complete nerd but I was also out and about a lot with friends ,had a boyfriend and was sociable.But to this day enjoy my own company. At home,especially Sundays there was not much to do and I loved being creative.
When my DCs were teens the mobile phone culture was relatively new and the wasn't FB and Instagram.At home during downtime they read, made stuff and watched a lot of films.OP it sounds like your DD has a good balance.

waterrat Tue 22-Jan-19 09:31:41

Sorry but it's just not true that befoe tablets kids spent as much as time in front of screens.

Also the was only invented sixty years ago let's get some perspective here. For millennia humans managed to pass time and be happy without screens

Mental health is rapidly declining among young people and lack of freedom and time spent with friends in real life is partly to blame. Kids now are scheduled within an inch of their life and it's damaging their well-being and ability to know how to occupy themselves

RB68 Tue 22-Jan-19 09:31:48

Sorry her - thought you said DS in my sleepy brain

babycatcher411 Tue 22-Jan-19 09:33:33

For me certainly, my life was made up of sports clubs/matches and Army Cadets. I did have a friend I used to go play Sims with (in the winter) or trampoline in the garden with (summer) immediately after school if we didn’t have a club, but that would normally only be for a hour tops before dinner and another sports club. Weekends again were sports or spending time with 1 of my 4 siblings.
Outside of that, I have very minimal time for screen based activities.

I struggle with my son, he’s averagely sporty, not hugely interested in most of the available after school clubs, plays out when he can (ie, when one of the neighbours kids isn’t glued to their device). He does read a reasonable amount, but that doesn’t seem to fill any time at all! I try to play board games with him, even with our collection, there’s still only so many games you can play.
He is an only child, so that’s definitely a difference from my childhood.

knittedjest Tue 22-Jan-19 09:34:06

Looking back on my older children (so early to mid 90's) teenage years I'm not sure if they did have less screen time than Dd12 does. It was different types of screens.

Back in the 70's and 80's we didn't really have screens but it is a lot more romanticised than it should be. We all got into a lot of mischievous, bad or even down right situations that I'm happy aren't so much a problem these days.

WeneverownedaniPad Tue 22-Jan-19 09:34:56

Made compilation tapes

smile ahhh those were the days, pushing the microphone of my tape recorder up against the radio to record the Top 40 on a Sunday evening!

Does she go out at weekends OP?

Apart from sports training, not really. Most of her friends from primary went to a different high school and she hasn't made any "proper" friends. We live quite rurally and the teens don't seem to "hang out" like I did. No snogging or slugging cider yet grin

tiggerkid Tue 22-Jan-19 09:36:29

I remember I spent all my time reading books and spending time with friends at that age. Admittedly, I also spent time talking on my parents landline as mobiles were quite expensive then but, of course, even that wasn't anywhere near as much time as my son spends on his phone now!

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Tue 22-Jan-19 09:37:23

Sorry but it's just not true that before tablets kids spent as much as time in front of screens.

Of course it is true lots of people would have spent weekends watching cartoons or Tv show. Even if it wasn't something you were interested in you still watched it because it was what was on TV and there really wasn't a huge amount of other stuff to do.

Before the supposed take over of screens surely lots of Teenagers were getting into very precarious situations and up to mischief, I know which is preferable in my opinion.

AnnPerkins Tue 22-Jan-19 09:38:23

Hung out with friends at their houses or round the village (illicit snogging and smoking), watched telly.

And we worked. I had Saturday jobs and a couple of paper rounds. My sister practically lived at the local riding stables. My brother did odd jobs: washing cars and mowing lawns.

RiverTam Tue 22-Jan-19 09:38:38

listened to music a lot
daydreamed about Robert Smith and Nick Rhodes
watched TV
hung out with sister and pal, sometimes in a graveyard.

CherryPavlova Tue 22-Jan-19 09:39:04

Between them mine did musical instrument practice and orchestras.
Rugby, ballet, tap, jazz dance, choir, sailing, fencing.
Youth parliament
Village youth bus visits and youth club
Voluntary work

SushiMonster Tue 22-Jan-19 09:39:51

Hogged the house landline.

Watched a lot of TV.

Read and drew.

What we didn't do, was get out a screen every time there was a few seconds downtime (at a bus top, in a lift, in a shop in a queue)

BlackPrism Tue 22-Jan-19 09:40:00

I read books, a lot. I painted my nails and practiced my hair, I listed to music and audiobooks, I had colouring books, we hung around the village a lot (not being overly wholesome) I gardened. My DCous got into knitting at 15 and I into embroidery... try a craft store?

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