Unless you have never been on a computer or a smart device in your entire life (which can’t be the case as you are reading this article) You will have at least heard of the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things. Are you one of the adoring fans of the show or someone who is sick of their middle-aged friend Neil saying “You have to watch this, it’s amazing” or “My childhood was exactly like this!” Really Neil? You and a group of your friends rode around on bikes with a weird bald girl who had a number for a name, and fought horrible creatures from a scarily dark alternate reality? No we didn’t think so!
Well Stranger Things learned from the best! It’s no secret that the Duffer brothers took inspiration for their smash hit series from a number of 80s movies – one massive influence was the Goonies. When the Goonies was released in 1985 we all believed that we could get our friends together and go on a Similar Adventure because they all seemed like ordinary kids like us – they did the things we did.
What Stranger Things does do is capture the spirit of those times when kids formed clubs based around their shared interests and actually interacted with each other in the real world and not in cyber space! Well times have changed, and because of that it’s very unlikely that kids will ever ‘play’ together in the same way ever again. Here are 6 reasons why today’s kids will never be Goonies.
1. Kids Don’t play outside anymore.
It’s true in the 70s, 80s and early 90s Kids used to play outside. we know it’s hard to believe but you know those big empty spaces? The parks, the fields, the street in front of your house? Well they didn’t used to be empty. Kids would fill those spaces playing games, climbing trees, laughing, fighting, falling over and generally just being kids! There were no mobile devices to stay in touch with your parents, the only curfew was generally when the street lights came on.
2. After School Clubs Have Changed
Dungeons & Dragons and AV Club aren’t really cool anymore (not sure they ever were) but the type of clubs that encouraged social interaction and discovery are becoming a thing of the past. Once upon a time Everybody had a story about how crazy Teddy almost blew up the science lab in an after school club experiment gone wrong. Sadly the fear of a lawsuit has stopped even the most daring of educational establishments allowing Teddys of the world, to mix unknown chemicals together without proper supervision!
3. There Are No ‘inspirational’ Movies anymore.
Let’s face it, one of the biggest influences on our lives as kids were the movies that we watched. We only started our own clubs and secret societies because we were inspired by what we saw in the movies. Who didn’t want to go searching for pirate treasure with a hideously deformed but super nice companion, or go searching for the dead body of that teenage kid that had been missing for ages, or fight Dracula and all his evil crew in the very streets we played in! These were the movies that made us get on our bikes, go round our friends house, to agree there and then (OK after they’d finished their dinner) that we were in a secret club until the day we died!
4. Being friends is easy
These days a new friend is a button click away! The instant somebody accepts your friend request you can know literally everything there is to know about each other – you don’t even need to remember any birthdays because social media reminds us. Nobody goes to the effort of buying a birthday card anymore, why would you when you can send a perfect little, automatically created birthday video! Back in the day getting to know someone and becoming friends took real effort. Actual conversations had to happen, facts exchanged. Spending time with your friends helped you understand their habits, their dislikes, their interests. This is how real friendships were formed, thanks to Facebook we can read all of this instantly so there is no need to remember any of it.
5. Nobody believes anything you say.
Didn’t we all have that one friend that one guy or girl in our gang that just knew everything? At least we believed they did. The truth is they were the kid who had the confidence to make it up on the spot, to make the BS that was coming out of their mouth sound like fact. It’s because of this you still believe that ducks breath out of their ass when their heads are under water! Fast forward to today and everyone’s a fact checker! Somebody states a fact and out comes everybody’s smart phones – if it says so on wikipedia it must be right!
6. It’s not safe!
That’s what we’re constantly being told, so kids are being wrapped in cotton wool. How many injuries did you get when you were a kid from showing off on your bike with your friends. Granted the introduction of cycle helmets is a very good thing, but there was always somebody at school with a broken limb from an accident. We drank from the hosepipe, jumped off swings, played with jarts and got unto all sorts of things that made us legends and heroes in the eyes of our friends. Because we played out all day our parents were blissfully unaware of the ridiculously dangerous things we were getting up to, it’s a wonder so many of us survived!