Why Being A ’90s Kid Isn’t So Great These Days

Y’all may not know this, but my neighbours have a seven year old. And the seven year old has an iPhone. An iPhone. When I was seven years old…

I have these type of experiences twice a day. Because I can’t fathom how children these days treat other people, expect to be treated, and want as treats. I can’t fathom how these kids think. When I was a kid….again.

Truth is, the world seems to be getting more messed up as we grow up.

That isn’t true; it’s just that the world is making more and more sense than when we were too young to understand. Now, we’re progressively digressing. Family disputes make more sense; stocks and shares are normal topics of conversation; broccoli is an acceptable vegetable. The vegetables haven’t changed; we have.

Our past and our present are incompatible, just like our most of our ideals. Technology has progressed in leaps and bounds, unrestricted by moral or scientific impediments. Our view about literally everything has changed – from society to scripture to science. We are treated like millennials and expected to behave like adults. We are the bridge that connects two peoples from different eras and different upbringings. And this is precisely the type of bullshit that ‘90s kids find themselves in.

90s kids remember when ice cream was a treat, a luxury. We remember when the telly was a big box. We remember the arguments that erupted when one couldn’t use the phone because someone else was using the internet. We remember the fun of actual “physical” playing. We remember this with a smugness tinged with nostalgia, because we know we had more fun than the generation of today.

It’s one thing to be brooding over memories. It’s another thing to be constantly crushed beneath the pestle of social expectations. Let me start by expounding on one of India’s biggest problems: parenting. 

Parenting is a widely discussed topic – both online and offline. Everyone has their own ideas about this concept, but very few ideas are actually compatible. In India, there’s a stormier cloud over our horizon, that of confusion. All Indian parents have a natural superiority complex in comparison to their kid(s). Even worse if the kid is ticked off 20-26 year old right now – because that means their points are pushed aside as “attitudes” as a result of – you guessed it – mobile phones.

We also have to deal with the crippling jealousy of seeing kids half our ages with phones worth double the price. We did our waiting. We waited for long, agonizing years, shedding tears of gratitude when our parents gifted us their second-second-hand, two bit, indestructible Nokia.

There’s an unspeakable bitterness, like we were cheated out of something. Like we’ve been robbed, but we don’t know what we’ve been robbed of. 

These policies are drafted by society and approved by society and meant for everyone outside of society – adolescents. Because we are the ones who soak up most of the pressure these days, whether it be from toddlers or over-assuming adults. I mention “pressure” because of this understated fact: most 90s kids are either working or are in the prime of college – and can there be found a better stress-creating environment?

It’s not just that. We – 90s kids, that is, were deprived of more than good internet or the newest iPhones. We were deprived of that most innocuous and intermediary right – the right to be understood. Not adults, but not complete kids either, we grew up in a too fast changing world, where trends and fads fizzled out slower than they do today. We grew up witnessing the rise and fall of great corporations and governments before we were teenagers. We were hyped by the turn of the millennium – having no idea what it meant. That is the atrocity committed against us – the gift of experiencing too much while understanding too little.

We never understood the real implications of legendary and terrible events that occurred around us – and thus we’re insensitive, smug and rather over-smart, when we boil it down to a conclusion. 

This is why I’ve been saying that 90s kids face a major dilemma when they’re at any important crossroads in life. Because we’ve been treated in a very specific way, and that is not the way we’re supposed to treat people.

Our parents grew up with a very clear cut way of parenting, and we’re not supposed to use that “strict, brash and dominating” stereotype on kids, because it’s “hurtful and contradictory to the purpose of nurturing kids”. Well, what was the purpose of parenting when we were kids, huh?

We were asked to follow and not question; today’s generation is taught the exact opposite. It may have been taught to them by us, but still. 

Try and tell me we weren’t on the receiving end of a raw deal. It’s important that we understand why we think there’s no fixed place in life for us – it’s because of the chronological timeline. Our generation was caught in the gap and we’re taking the heat for it. Also some of us are drug addicts and wastrels, but I’m not supposed to disclose such unpopular truths.



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