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10 In lifestyle/ ramblings

Being Nineteen In 2016 | Social Media, Being Taken Seriously and The ‘No Chill’ Thing

That’s a pretty specific title, I hear you say.  And that’s exactly my point.  During the past few days of taking it easy over Christmas (read: making a bum imprint on the sofa whilst binge watching Harry Potter and eating chocolate coins) I’ve been doing less and thinking more, and the idea crossed my mind.

Being 19 in 2016 is very different to being 19 in 2006.  This world is a changing v v fast!  It’s crazy how much of a difference a couple of years can make to the kind of life you grow up with.


For example.

When I was a wee one (back in the olden days of the noughties) my parents both had mobile phones, but of the brick variety that we only borrowed to play the bubble game when waiting at swimming lessons.  I remember my mum’s chunky pink phone with a stylus vividly.  Kids a few years older than me wouldn’t have had that at all, and kids a few years younger have grown up playing with all sorts of games on their parents smartphones and tablets and everything else.  Which seems like a pretty random statement to make, but I actually think things like that can make a huge difference.

I was a young teenager around the time that Instagram took off, and just before Instagram stars became the celebrities they are now.   13 year olds in 2016 have these ‘aspirational’ girls and guys to influence their ideas of what they should and shouldn’t be, and that’s bound to wreak havoc with their self-esteem at a touchy time (we’ve all been thirteen and awkward, let’s face it).  Comparison messes with our heads at any age, let alone tween time.

I remember chatting to my friend Ellie about my solo trip to Barcelona, and how I hadn’t been too worried about getting around because I could always just use Google Maps if I got lost.  I remember her saying ‘yeah it’s different now, we didn’t have Google Maps when I was 18’, and she’s only 26.  Hopefully you don’t mind being used as an anecdote Ellie. 😉  But that just shows the kind of things that actually do pinpoint it – I could happily travel alone at 18 and know that I’d be able to figure out where I’d gone wrong if I got lost.  I’m sure 18 year olds managed to find their way around new places sans Google Maps – it’s not the greatest invention of all mankind – but it’s one of those things that makes being a young’un in a new place different to 10 years ago.

Phones and social media change ALL THE THINGS.  Seriously.  They’ve made it easier and easier to meet people online (for which I’m forever grateful) and simultaneously harder and harder to meet people offline.  Compared to what I’ve heard about life when my mum was 19, it’s such a different climate and people just don’t go out and meet IRL anywhere near as much as they used to.  All the closed down pubs and bars are evidence of that, it’s not just me being a loner!  I’ve seen links to this article about ‘why we need to start dating again‘ a few times, and it’s so true.  The internet and apps have indeed turned snapchats and Instagram likes into flirting and it’s all one massive. bloody. game.  I’m sure being nineteen and at university in 2016 is a whole different story but still a messy one at that.  Life’s always messy, but this particular variety of messy revolves around a currency of likes and ‘social breadcrumbing‘ and not an awful lot of getting out there meeting new people.

One thing I can’t figure out is whether 19 year olds are taken more seriously now or not.  I mean, I’d like to think so… enough influential young people have done impressive enough things that we SHOULD be, but along with more reliance on technology comes more talk of a ‘wasted generation’, so who knows.  There will always be people who judge you based on their own maturity when they were 19, or their daughter’s, or whoever’s maturity and assume that by virtue of being the same age in numbers, you will be the same in mentality.  Alas nope.

At 19 we’re supposed to have ‘chill’, because we’re only young and all that.  We’re supposed to have no expectations and oh my days, don’t even mention the R word.  Might make it to ‘a thing’ status with someone but for god’s sake don’t utter the word relationship.  No chill.  The chill thing isn’t limited to relationships either, because god forbid you actually call someone out if they’re out of line – you’ll become one of the stuffy ones who can’t just chill.

So yeah, in summary it’s a funny old world to live in right now with rather a lot of contradictions.  It’ll all have changed again in a couple of years, which is kind of why I wanted to write it all down now to look back on.  Changes quick, doesn’t it?  If any comparisons of life when you were 19, or life as an X year old in 2016 spring to mind, I think it’d be really interesting to hear them.  And maybe I’ll write a follow up in 2020 when I’m 23 or something.  We’ll see 🙂

lily kate x

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  • Reply
    27th December 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I’m a little bit older but I still 100% have the same memories with my parents with their brick phones. I vividly remember always borrowing my Mum’s so I could play snake, I was obsessed! I was a teenager who had the Myspace days, but I’ve also been in the period where I saw Facebook and Instagram be created, the chatter about how they would never be anything cool, to both platforms now taking over the world, and let’s face it, our lives! So I can completely relate to seeing people younger than me pretty much growing up in a completely different world, in a completely different way. I’ve always known about this difference, but never taken a moment to sit back and think about it, and your post made me do that, so thank you! I think part of me does worry for those younger than me, because as awesome as social media is and how many amazing opportunities and new experiences it can open up for people, I think there is also a major negative side, mainly connected to people’s mental wellbeing – such a great post! I hope you have a great New Years xx.


    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      28th December 2016 at 10:49 am

      I’d love to find one of those brick phones and play with it haha! It’s weird to think of Facebook and Instagram as anything but the all consuming platforms they are today.
      I’m glad this post made you think, you probably had very similar thoughts to me! I wonder what will be different in 10 years and how it will shape lives? Social media is going to make some interesting history studies in years to come haha.
      Thank you and Happy New Years to you too! xx

  • Reply
    28th December 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t mind at all 🙂
    But this is so true! Never in a million years would I have thought about travelling alone when I was 18, but if I 18 now, then I would feel so much more safe! And I admire you doing it every time 🙂

    Ellie xxx


    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      29th December 2016 at 11:59 am

      I hoped you wouldn’t!
      Thank you! Tbh I’ll probably still manage to get myself lost at some point but hey ho, Google Maps to the rescue 😀

  • Reply
    28th December 2016 at 11:09 pm

    It’s sooo strange to think of how different an experience children growing up today will have. I remember when I was 11, a girl at school had a phone that played polyphonic ring tones and that was the coolest thing ever! I got a brick when I went to secondary school just in case I needed it when getting the bus to and from school.. we spent our teenage years glued to MSN and coming up with screen names to show off our favourite emo lyrics and I used a site called Open Diary to chat about my life (if only I’d started a blog, I could have been one of the original blogging stars! Ok maybe not..) Facebook came along as I went into sixth form and Instagram and Twitter and Snapchat were all things I downloaded once I was at uni! I’m nearly 25 and I bet my experiences are quite different from yours, it’s mad how quickly it all changes! I wonder what it will be like in another 10 years… xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      29th December 2016 at 12:59 pm

      I think that every time I see a toddler playing with an iPad like the modern day Etch a Sketch! I’m kind of glad I was a bit slow to the game and don’t have any old embarrassing MSN accounts or anything to look back on haha. I’m sure you would have been one of the original mega stars, I’d love to read your old blog posts!
      Maybe in 10 years I’ll have to do an update post 😀

  • Reply
    31st December 2016 at 9:20 pm

    It’s so strange to think of how different an experience children growing up today will have. But I’m quite glad I got to experience the life before Instagram, Snapchat..as well as the one where I use those every day. I got a brick to contact my parents as my first phone, and now my cousin (we are 3 years appart) got a brand new touch screen Samsung. I used CDs and now they now more about Itunes and streaming. It’s crazy to see that things change so quickly. I used to use MSN and old school Facebook and Youtube when nobody had more than 50k subscribers. Computers are in most schools now, the younger members of my family have never known life without a computer in their home. Our lifestyles change so quickly, but I feel so lucky to experience it all.
    Have a happy new year lovely 😉

    • Reply
      lily kate
      1st January 2017 at 2:42 pm

      I’m glad I got to experience it too, my childhood was more about playing outside than it was playing with technology! That’s crazy the difference between you and your cousin. I always remember having computers at home – it is actually weird to imagine life without them!
      Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    9th January 2017 at 11:03 am

    So this post made think a little because I was 19 in 2007 (so close enough!) It’s not all that different tbh, social media still existed and relationships happened online. I still have a bunch of friends that I have never met in person, but we’ve migrated on different social media platforms over the years. Facebook only just became the thing to use in 2006 because it was only open to university students at the time. Girls still had aspirational figures from magazines, celebrities and bloggers, just not as fast and free and instantaneous as instagram. Google Maps as an app is a big thing, really handy now, I remember printing off directions on Google Maps to get somewhere before! But it does stop you from talking to people on holiday just to find out their suggestions, we rely so much on reviews and tripadvisor and things without just taking a chance!

    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      13th January 2017 at 9:04 am

      Maybe social media in it’s infant stages wasn’t quite so different then! Girls especially have always been subjected to pressures since damn near the beginning of time, but Insta just amplifies it I think. I don’t know what I’d do without the blue dot on Google maps to tell me where I am haha!
      I hadn’t thought of that last part – we do rely on Google at the expense of asking questions!
      Thanks for commenting Aimi, hope you’re well 🙂

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