What fun activity from your childhood do you think has been completely ruined today?

Because times are constantly changing, I think something we must all accept is that the world we grew up in might not exist tomorrow. This is a concept I think many of us can accept in various aspects of life, but one topic that people usually can’t let go of is customs from their childhood fading away. Most of us tend to regard our childhoods fondly, so it’s difficult to accept that the things we treasured back then are no longer being valued or are being left behind in the past, but to some extent I also think these memories create a bond for us to share with our generation and help create wonderful memories for us to look back on that we can think of as our own.

Recently, one of these memories for me has been the practice of mall culture. When I was a teenager, it was common for certain groups of kids to go hang out at the mall after school or on weekends with our friends. The mall became an unofficial hangout spot and different groups had different areas of the malls we would occupy (activities also varied). It became like a schoolyard outside of school and it was a fun and convenient place for us to see our friends.

My friends and I in particular liked to go the mall on weekends. Every weekend, we would meet up together in a planned location and head to the mall together where we would usually spend all or half the day. There were certain stores in the mall that catered to the interests of my friends and I, so we would usually go and hang around those stores. It was also a good place to meet new friends because kids from other schools would do the same thing. In most cases, the group we were with was actually a mix of kids from different areas.

We had everything we needed at the mall. There were good benches for us to sit on, good shops for us to look through, and a big food court for us to go to if we got hungry. During summer and winter, the mall also provided good temperature control. What was best is we could stay at the mall for as long as we wanted. Many other places do not like having teenagers around their establishments, especially for a long amount of time. However, the mall was a safe place for us to be in without having to worry about loitering. The mall welcomed us, and it helped it become a big part of our culture.

However, in modern times, mall culture is dying out drastically. There are a number of factors at play, but the biggest contributor to its decline would probably be online shopping. Because online shopping is more convenient than brick and mortar stores, younger generations tend to opt for shopping on the Internet rather than limiting themselves to the selections at physical stores. This has made malls feel outdated and people are frequenting them much less.

Furthermore, as a result of seeing fewer visitors, individual shops in malls also started closing down more which only furthered decreased the selection. Since there was less of a selection of stores in malls, it only created a further reason for people to stop going to them, especially teenagers.

The days of hanging out with your friends at the mall after school seem far gone now. It’s only a memory for us who grew up with it to look back at warmly. It’s sad for me to think the culture we created was there and then is gone, but also it makes me happy to have experienced it while it existed and it’s amazing we were able to build that niche in the culture at all, even if it was only temporary. I think it will forever remain in my memories as the little quirk we had, and I will be very happy if it ever makes a resurgence.


fondly (adjective) – in a way that shows love, affection or positive feelings
hang out (verb) – to spend leisurely time together
cater (verb) – to provide someone with what they need or what
loiter (verb) – to stand around in a location for a long amount of time with no purpose
brick and mortar (adjective) – physical or conventional [building], as opposed to being online
resurgence (noun) – a new life or rise in interest or activity after a period of being dormant or forgotten