Being a teenager in El Paso, along with the rest of the country of course, is different from generation to generation.

It doesn't always take a couple of decades to create big differences between generations.

Sometimes even the gap between siblings is enough to make things very different for each.

Here are a few things that are way, WAY different for teenagers today than they were when I was a teen.

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Video Games:

Then - If I wanted to play video games, it was off to the arcade for me. A roll of quarters was all I needed to have a good time and you could always find hotties there.

Now - Today's teens have state-of-the-art, NASA-quality graphics at their fingertips and don't even have to leave their bedrooms to play against others. Hotties, not so much.

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Mechanical Skills:

Then - Shop classes rocked. I learned to weld, machine metal, and work on cars as well as basic electronics. Valuable knowledge, good times, and a lot more fun than geography.

Now - Shop classes seem to have all but disappeared and ... while I realize there are many teens out there this doesn't apply to ... most kids today can't figure out how to drive a standard, let alone how to fix or build anything.

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Then - Snatching an older relative's magazines or maybe a (VHS) movie. Then you had to find a private place to read or watch it. (Then get it back somehow.) After 18, strip clubs.

Now - Pornhub (Heads up, that link's way NSFW)

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Then - Illegal as hell -- considered to be the root of all societal evils and a big secret no one outside of your circle could ever know. A couple of joints could mean a couple of years.

Now - It's legal across half the country, not that big of a deal in the other half and if a kid is smoking it the prevailing opinion is usually "well, it's not the worst thing they could be doing".

Except Texas. Texas is not budging on this one.

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Fast Food:

Then - It was a treat that you don't get all the time and if you did get some, it was because you actually went and got it.

Now - It's sometimes 2 out of the daily 3 square meals and, thanks to Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and others -- game boy doesn't have to leave his custom gaming chair.

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Then - Illicit fun and coming-of-age moments galore in a foreign country away from the prying eyes of the "establishment".

Now - Murder capital of the world.

Italian Youths Shop, Socialize And Party
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I actually feel kind of bad that most teens today will never know the simple pleasures of throwing up on a bridge and/or trying not to breathe, (or fall over), as they walk past Dad.

Good times ...

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