It took me by surprise when my parents told me that they did not even know what a debit card was when they were teenagers – they had not been invented. The idea of money on a card was unimaginable and unnecessary. The fact that cell phones were rare and the answering machine was relatively new is also hard to understand. How did people get a hold of each other?
I wanted to know more about then versus now in ways other than technology, when I stumbled across some interesting information. I found a chart that compared the typical teenager in the early 1980s to today’s average kid of 2012.
What was found was that the typical teenager in the early 1980s was rocking a Walkman and had just seen “E.T.,” while today’s average kid has a cell phone, listens to Rhianna, is less likely to finish high school and is less likely to participate in cigarette use.
I found that the top three artists of the 1980s were Olivia Newton John, Survivor and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; whereas today, the top three artists are Adele, Rhianna and Katy Perry. It is also noted that the movies that made up the 1980s were "E.T." and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," while the top movies of 2012 are “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” and "Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part Two."
I found it interesting that there are similarities between both teenagers. For instance, teens play video games. In the 1980s it was Caleco Vision and today it is Play Station Three and Xbox.
A similarity is shared in the fact that teens still work. The only difference now is pay. Teens in 1982 were paid $60.30 a week and teens today are paid $130 a week, assuming each teen worked 18 hours during the school year for minimum wage.
When it comes to cell phone use, teens in the 1980s had no idea what a cell phone was. Today, about three in four teens has a cell phone. As far as career aspiration goes, in 1982, teens were more interested in engineering, biological sciences and agricultural and natural resources; whereas today, teens are interested in business, history, health, education and visual or performing arts.