Were the ‘70s ever really as good as we thought?

RECENTLY I interviewed food author Jane Lawson who has written a book called 'Milkbar Memories' featuring a collection of recipes that are guaranteed to bring back thoughts of a bygone era.

Truth is, I've spent most of my life thinking that growing up in the 1970's was rubbish.

Compared to the video games, technology, entertainment and connectivity we have today I've always thought that my generation got a raw deal.

Then I had kids of my own, and it forced me to re-evaluate my own childhood. Now, as the father of two teenagers, I've come to realise maybe, just maybe, life was actually better back then.

It's not until you live with teenagers you realise how social media completely dominates the world they live in. They are a generation that cannot survive without their phones.

When I go to the gym I see people spending half their time looking at their phone instead of exercising. They're probably on Twitter posting #GettingRipped while doing absolutely bugger all.

In the 1970's I walked home from school (yes, walked) and then played outside with other kids in the street until the sun went down. Mum and Dad had no idea where I was most of the time, but I always turned up for dinner.

Camping holidays meant exploring fields and countryside with my cousins and friends without a compass, phone or map. Guess what? We survived, and still found our way back to camp each day.

We shared a bottle of soft drink, and didn't die from sharing our saliva on the bottle.

We fell over and cut ourselves. Instead of looking for someone to sue, we brushed ourselves down and kept walking.

True happiness as a teen was walking into the video arcade (ask your dad what that is kids) with a pocket full of 20 cent pieces and enough dollar notes (again, ask your parents about 'One Dollar Notes') for a chocolate milkshake.

Oh, good times.

It saddens me that kids today don't know what all these things feel like, and as their lives become more and more dominated by technology, is my generation the last to know what being a kid really meant?

Life really was simpler in the 'olden days', and I'm sad that it took me so long to realise that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going home to play some Skyhooks and find a recipe for PollyWaffles.

What do YOU think? Was life better in the 1970's? Email me: Darren.hallesy@qt.com.au

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