Then and Now: Phones and Friendship

Grace Brosnan, Creative Writing Editor

Do you remember fifth grade? Playing on the playground with the kids you thought you would spend your whole life with and making up games to pass the time. Do you remember running around the backyard for hours, the time slipping between your fingers and soon the sun is sleeping and your fifth grade self is still in the middle of “Spud”?  My memory is fuzzy from my younger self, but one thing I absolutely remember is not having a phone to anchor me to a couch every time a friend came over.

Back then, play dates consisted of non-stop running around for no reason, red cheeks from the winds colliding with your face, and completely made up games where the rules would change every ten minutes because you wanted to beat your friend. Things were so different. There was magic in friendship. You could literally talk for hours without a screen interrupting you. There was no social media to poison a friendship or create unnecessary drama, no apps that could lead to cyberbullying. There was just you, your friends, and endless possibilities.

When I was young, my friends and I would play hide and seek tag. Every day after school we would go to someone’s house, play for hours, go inside for a quick snack and then start the game up again. Sleepovers consisted of gossiping about boys and clothes, not who got more likes on a picture than the other. The only technology we used was our parents’ phones for making silly videos. And I wish it was still like that now.

Now, our phones have taken over our lives. Friends come over just to talk about what happened on Instagram the other day or who’s dating who because of a tweet that was sent earlier that day. We take for granted our friendships and most of them  fall apart easily because of our phones. “I miss when we would play in your backyard. I honestly feel bad for the generation that has to grow up with technology. My childhood was so much fun and it definitely wasn’t because of a phone,” says Olivia Curry, one of my childhood best friends.

The generation that has to grow up with having the burden of technology is really missing out on the imagination that could be in all their friendships. I wish parents these days could somehow shield their children from phones just for the sake of their childhood. My childhood shaped me into who I am today because of my friends, not a cell phone.


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license