1. House phones. You know, the good old days when you had to sneak around to call your boo. Then, you hoped your little brothers weren’t listening in on the other phone or that your mom didn’t pick up the phone and embarrass you.
2. Good hip hop music. No offense to Fetty Wap, A$AP Rocky, or others, but 99% of hip-hop artists out today are one-hit wonders. I have a few words for you…Fugees ‘The Score,’ Nas ‘Illmatic’ and Jay-Z ‘The Blueprint.’
3. Wholesome television. Call me old-fashioned, but when my twelve-year-old students want to talk to me about Empire or Straight Outta Compton, I have a problem with that. What ever happened to TGIF? Family Matters? Full House? Step by Step? Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Today kids are busy watching Love and Hip Hop and The Walking Dead.
4. Learning the art of being a gracious loser. In a world where all kids are given trophies, winners or losers, I fear that we are creating mediocre adults that are okay with being average and that feel entitled to be rewarded simply for showing up.
5. Authentic social experiences. Teens can be in the same room and still choose to text each other instead of talk to each other. Interpersonal skills are at an all time low. Whatever happened to…talking?
6. Proper spelling and grammar. I guess I’d be okay with the typing generation if they could type without looking at the keys. And if they could create a sentence with correct subject-verb agreement. And if they could actually spell. Anything. Seriously.
7. Good vision, hearing and posture. Studies have shown that leaning over an electronic device causes spinal curvature, staring at a screen causes eye fatigue, and listening to loud music through headphones and earbuds causes hearing damage. On a positive note, in about twenty years, business will be booming for chiropractors, optometrists and audiologists.
8. Learning how to speak your mind bravely. Thanks to social media, now every teen (and adult!) can hide behind a computer screen and speak their mind behind avatars and fake profiles. But, before the Internet, when you had a problem with someone, you did this amazingly (albeit now extinct) thing called…saying it to their face.
9. Old movie references. This week something epic happened. It was ‘Back to the Future’ day on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. We were literally in the future. And they didn’t even know it. Because they don’t even know who Michael J. Fox is.
10. Comfortable jeans. There is no way skinny jeans can be comfortable. At all. I’m sure it feels a lot like wearing Spanx after going to Golden Corral. It may be in style, but I’m sure every teen is counting down the days until they can wear jeans that don’t come from the toddler’s section anymore.