A perception of poverty.
Posted by Big John on September 22, 2007
I recently read a report that stated that many children today consider it a sign of poverty for another child not to have a mobile phone.
Unlike most of today’s children many working class people of my generation will have seen or experienced real child poverty, so I suppose that we must consider it progress when the lack of a mobile phone is seen as a sign of ‘poverty’, and not the sight of young legs deformed by rickets: but I can’t help wondering from where do these children acquire such values ?
I suppose that it would come as quite a shock to these kids to know that when I was a child there were no cell phones and the nearest public telephone was on the counter of our local off-licence (liquor store) two streets from my home.
The telephone in question was one of those ‘stand’ types with a separate earpiece at the end of a cord. I can’t remember where the nearest red public phone box was in relation to my home, and in any case I wouldn’t have spent my few pennies of pocket money or wasted my time on making phone calls; unlike the kids I see everyday with their ‘Nokia’ pressed against their ear as they chatter on about such important matters as their latest video game or favourite ‘gangsta’ rapper.
At that time no one I knew had a telephone, and I can’t even remember using one until I started work in 1955 at the age of sixteen.
No cell phone, no ‘iPod’, no TV, no ‘X box’ ! … What would today’s youngsters have made of my childhood ? I suppose they would consider me to have been destitute; but at least I was safe from …
… being mugged on my way home from school.