Depends how you look at it. If youth get online, they instantly have more freedom due to the democratization of information available in this realm. Impossible friendships are possible now. Finding a subculture that suits you is possible now. Changing your identity is possible now. But… In 3D life? Paranoia set in after 9/11. “Can’t let kids walk alone anymore to school”. Even prior to that, in the 90s, helicopter parenting, boot camps and the like were a big fad that many youth suffered with. Somewhere in the 90s, kids no longer could have their own bank accounts in the USA, and by then any “kids jobs” were snapped up by adults anyway, so no financial freedom. So, there’s been both oppression and freedoms depending on what realm.

Depends how you look at it.
If youth get online, they instantly have more freedom due to the democratization of information available in this realm.

Impossible friendships are possible now. Finding a subculture that suits you is possible now. Changing your identity is possible now.

But…

In 3D life? Paranoia set in after 9/11. “Can’t let kids walk alone anymore to school”.

Even prior to that, in the 90s, helicopter parenting, boot camps and the like were a big fad that many youth suffered with. Somewhere in the 90s, kids no longer could have their own bank accounts in the USA, and by then any “kids jobs” were snapped up by adults anyway, so no financial freedom.

So, there’s been both oppression and freedoms depending on what realm.

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So, I have to answer “no”.
Some things are better
Some things are worse

But the things that are worse CAN change. This is what’s better now. The walls between levels is breaking down — slower than I thought — but breaking down.

At this point, I consider internet access a basic human right. I could not imagine going back to “before”. I could not imagine being a kid whose parents decide to restrict “screen time”, unable to participate in what’s becoming standard markers of childhood: getting a youtube channel, having a musically/tik tok, getting an Instagram then ditching it, starting a discord server with your friends, getting on Roblox, going through a Minecraft phase (and now a Fortnite phase)…

and this is worldwide.

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