Teen Girls Today vs. Teen Girls in the 1800s

My most recent historical romance, Hailee, just released and is the third in my Montana Skies Series. It takes place in 1893, so the setting is quite different than that of today. My first two books in the series, McKenzie and Kaydie took place in 1882. As such, I thought I would do a few comparisons between the lives of teens today vs. the lives of teens in the late 1800s. Here is what I discovered…

                            Teen Girls Today       vs.     Teen Girls in Late 1800s

How to communicate Cell phones, text messaging, social media, telephone Telegraph, limited telephone in some areas, slow mail service
Just for fun… Football games, extra-curricular activities, band practice, hanging out, watching movies, involvement in youth group Barn dances, fishing, sewing, tea parties (for the more affluent)
What’s for dinner? Pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, hamburgers Chili and cornbread, stewed duck, mince pie
Snacks, anyone? Potato chips, candy bar, soda Lemon puffs, gingerbread cookies
When I grow up, I want to be a… Engineer, lawyer, astronaut, CEO of a large company, veterinarian, teacher (and of course, mother and wife, too!) Mother, wife, teacher, nanny
Modes of transportation Cars, planes, subways, taxis, bicycles Horses, wagons/carriages, by foot, some train travel
A typical day Get up, get dressed for school, eat breakfast if there’s time; after school, go to soccer practice, hang out with friends, eat dinner, go to bed. Get up, do chores, eat breakfast with the family, go to school; after school, come home, do homework, more chores, eat dinner, go to bed.
At age 16… Involved in extracurricular activities, maybe a part-time job; thinking of college choices and career paths Thinking of marriage
The awesome things… Advances in modern medicine, modern conveniences, such as dishwashers and indoor plumbing, more diverse fashions, makeup Simpler more relaxed times, more family-oriented, God and church a priority, most food homegrown, healthier eating, fashions consisted of prairie dresses
The not-so-good-things… Peer pressure, more drugs, crime & poverty; breakdown in family, God is more commonly forgotten and excluded Death from now-curable diseases, life expectancy not as long, hard backbreaking work, travel was slow

In doing my own unscientific poll, I learned that the girls I interviewed would much rather live in the present, rather than in the 1800s. Although several of them said they admired many of the aspects of the 1800s. So, which era would you rather live?

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