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-   -   Are you a Baby Boomer? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=614902)

raysachs 05-09-2021 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ceciltguitar (Post 6712210)
Several early boomers have commented about spending the whole day outside as a child during the summer. One of the big big differences between early boomers late boomers - “Jones’s” - is that the early boomers childhood, up until they were teenagers or even after they were teenagers, was spent in the era before most people had air conditioning and televisions. After everybody had air-conditioning and televisions, kids stop going outside as much.

I don't think I agree with this last part. As a '59er, we always had TV - I do remember the big day when we got a COLOR TV - we'd had B&W until I was 7 or 8. But we always had a TV at home, from as early as I can remember, probably since I was born. And we had air conditioning, later swamp cooling when we moved to Arizona, but we always had some form of cooling.

And I LIVED outside. So did my friends. We were out all the time. As a little kid in the mid-Atlantic and then as a bigger kid and teenager in the desert Southwest. I don't remember spending very much time inside until girls and beer and weed became part of the picture in high school. But I was STILL outside quite a lot. I know at some point, kids started spending more and more time inside and less outside, but I think that might have had more to do with when video games really took off - that was a few years after my time and I just never got into them at all. And with cable TV and hundreds of TV stations. And then once we had 24 hour news stations, they needed to find stuff to talk about so they REALLY played up every child abduction anywhere and parents started getting nervous about letting their kids out of sight. But my guess is all of this was probably more of a Gen X and beyond phenomenon.

-Ray

Wade Hampton 05-09-2021 11:27 AM

Yeah, that whole child abduction craze that gripped the country for a decade or so had really negative consequences on the culture overall.


whm

ceciltguitar 05-09-2021 11:37 AM

“One of the big big differences between early boomers late boomers - “Jones’s” - is that the early boomers childhood, up until they were teenagers or even after they were teenagers, was spent in the era before most people had air conditioning and televisions. After everybody had air-conditioning and televisions, kids stop going outside as much.”

“ SAT Scores went up nearly every year for the early boomers, and then started going down those born right around somewhere between 1954 - 1957.”

No way to prove it, but I suspect that these two facts are related.

————

Raysachs, the switch from being mostly outdoors to being mostly indoors was not an immediate sudden change in most cases, and the change was not ubiquitous - there are still many families that spend a lot of time outdoors.

I agree that internet and video games also accelerated the transition from more people (especially kids) with more time outdoors to more people (especially kids) with more time indoors. I do think that the whole transition started with air conditioning and TV. But that’s just my opinion based on my experience and observations, again, no way to prove it.;)

ceciltguitar 05-09-2021 11:48 AM

My dad’s childhood was the 1940s, and he became a teenager in 1951. He said that most evenings his family were DOING things together: gardening, playing games outdoors or indoors, singing songs with someone playing the piano, cub scouts / Boy Scouts, lots of summer evenings at the lakes that were within walking distance from the small town that they lived in. Later on, high school sports, high school band, high school theater, parties. They did listen to a few radio shows every week. They were one of the first folks in town to have a TV, but this was not long before he graduated from high school and struck out on his own, at the age of 17, which was normal then.

My sisters and I spent most childhood evenings watching TV. I completely stopped watching TV at about the age of 13 or 14.

raysachs 05-09-2021 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ceciltguitar (Post 6712345)
Raysachs, the switch from being mostly outdoors to being mostly indoors was not an immediate sudden change in most cases, and the change was not ubiquitous - there are still many families that spend a lot of time outdoors.

I agree that internet and video games also accelerated the transition from more people (especially kids) with more time outdoors to more people (especially kids) with more time indoors. I do think that the whole transition started with air conditioning and TV. But that’s just my opinion based on my experience and observations, again, no way to prove it.;)

Yeah, I can agree that it was one of the early drivers of the change in that trend. I probably over-reacted based on my intimate knowledge of a data point of one... Well, it was more than one because my friends were all out too, but I'm sure some kids had started staying in a lot and I just didn't see them much.

But, when you look at the continuum from when AC and TV started (with 3-5 channels in any given home!) through today with cable, 24 hour news, lifelike video games, computers, the internet, smart phones, the beginning of TV and AC looks like a pretty small and innocent beginning!

BTW, when I was a kid, my parents limited me to one hour of TV per day unless there was a Baltimore Colts game on, in which case I could watch with my Dad and older brother. I knew other kids with similar limits. It seems like parents in the early days of "screen time", understood it's potential impacts pretty well. We understand them now too, but are mostly powerless to deal with it, given how ubiquitous screens are now...

-Ray

Carmel Cedar 05-09-2021 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wade Hampton (Post 6711785)
White folks had it easy, no argument there.

Laughed when I read this. My parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe, and life wasn't easy for them. They started with nothing when they (literally) came off the boat a few years after WWII, and got nothing, no help. Polish immigrants were actively discriminated against in getting jobs, promotions, society access, everything. Boomers may remember how "Polack jokes" used to be commonplace and socially accepted, though that dissipated after Pope John Paul II and Poland's overthrow of communism.

I'm sure there are others that suffered more, but it seems at best inaccurate to characterize one group as uniformly having an easy life. My parents didn't. Despite that, I grew up grateful that the US gave our family the opportunity to live in a nation where, however uneven things may be, we had freedom and a chance to build a better future.

I think growing up a child of immigrants defined my worldview more strongly than being a late stage Boomer. Just to throw a twist into the discussion. :)

dirkronk 05-09-2021 03:37 PM

The earlier references of boomers having the Kennedy assassination as a dark "defining moment" rang true for me. I've shared my own "where were you?" story on other forums in the past. I decided to hunt down this one, posted May 29, 2002, just a few months after another defining moment for another generation: 9/11.

From Audio Asylum archives. In Reply to: Where were you when? posted by Chef Henry on May 27, 2002 at 09:35:51:

I was in the 8th grade in Waco, Texas, 13 years old. I first heard the news via hall rumor in between English and Drama classes. During Drama, the principal came over the intercom and gave us what few facts he had--then declared school closed for the day. Basically, I felt sick. Normally, my Mom or a friend's mom picked us up from school, since it was rather a long walk home. But it was way too early to wait--and that day, it seemed like the longest walk of my life. It wasn't cold. In fact, I remember breaking a sweat while walking. I remember scuffing the limestone dust on the gravel-topped side streets, watching it cover the toes of my shoes. I remember thoughts tumbling over and over each other. In addition to the sorrow and disbelief at the news, there was the added onus...this thing had happened in Texas. My state. Just 100 miles north of where I was walking.
There was an expectation, too, that this was just the beginning of some much more expanded event. After all, I'd grown up with fear of atomic attack; with profound mistrust of the godless communists; with build-ups in Southeast Asia reported in "My Weekly Reader"; with the Cuban missile crisis just a year before; with countless duck-and-cover drills, air raid sirens, Civil Defense locations, fallout shelters. Why wouldn't I see this as the start of World War III? The beginning of the end?

It was glum around my house that day and the rest of the weekend. There was no school, but there was no joy in the time off, either. How could there be? My Dad and Mom just sat in silence most of the time. Our black and white TV spewed out existing footage again and again, until the funeral. I remember the shots of the family, of John-John's salute, but the image that burned itself into my brain was the caisson and the riderless horse, the empty boots turned backward in their stirrups.

I felt caught, in a way. I was somewhere between child and adult...a No-Man's Land familiar to most denizens of junior high, admittedly. The week before, I couldn't wait to be considered grown up. That long weekend, though, I remember consciously trying to revert into a child's view of the world once more. I played with the younger kid from next door. Whiffle ball, wars with plastic army men, catch with the football. Anything to be outside, away from the adult world, away from the morose images, away from the drone of sadness and uncertainty. The retreat didn't work, of course. I wasn't truly grown up at that point. But I was never quite a kid again, either.

Given my reaction that day, I can scarcely dream of the level of impact 9/11 must have had on the children of this land. It makes me wish for gentler times for all of us.

Dirk, remembering all too clearly

Wade Hampton 05-09-2021 04:09 PM

Nice writing, Dirk.


whm

posternutbag 05-09-2021 04:30 PM

Nope. I am part of the forgotten generation (Gen X).

I grew up on Transformers and GI Joe. I have always had a phone and TV in my room, as well as a computer in the house, but we didn’t have internet until I was in high school. I am lucky that my wife and I both missed out on being crushed by student loan debt, and we were able to buy our first house in our twenties.

I wasn’t alive to watch the Beatles on Ed Sullivan; I watched Nirvana on Saturday Night Live. I remember hair metal, but I was a little too young to appreciate it.

The bands that defined my life were Guns N’ Roses, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Phish and Widespread Panic, but I also listened to Cream, Led Zeppelin, Rush, The Allman Brothers and especially The Grateful Dead.

We are the forgotten generation, the middle child of modern American culture, and at least for me, I am good with that.

Carmel Cedar 05-09-2021 09:44 PM

No worries Wade, I assumed that was the case. Your comment was helpful in that it caused me to realize the experience of being a child of refugee immigrant parents shaped me more than the era I grew up in. The soundtrack I grew up with ("study and work hard, and you can succeed in America") still resonates in me, even though it seems counter-cultural these days!

DCCougar 05-10-2021 07:07 AM

Currently 86% of the members on this site are boomers. That's..... interesting. :D

RP 05-10-2021 07:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carmel Cedar (Post 6712734)
...Your comment was helpful in that it caused me to realize the experience of being a child of refugee immigrant parents shaped me more than the era I grew up in...

Over the past couple of years I've been looking into my lineage with very mixed results, and I suppose that an extra generation of transition for immigrant families may make a huge difference. I'm second generation Russian-American (Ancestry.com says I'm about 99% Russian-American), and my grandparents lived through pogroms to a greater or lesser extent. They never spoke about it to my recollection, and I can't think of ways in which their experiences in the Old Country affected me...

Highroller 05-10-2021 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCCougar (Post 6712845)
Currently 86% of the members on this site are boomers. That's..... interesting. :D


But not surprising. We're the ones that care the most about guitars. I think other guitar forums I'm on have similar demographics.

Wengr 05-10-2021 11:09 AM

Not sure....born may of '64

George6654 05-10-2021 12:15 PM

I was born in 45 but wouldn’t say I was part of the silent Generation. Definitely more a Boomer.


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