Australia only has 2 seasons – footy & cricket :)
As a young lad, depending on the season, I used to play cricket or football in the streets. Either outside our house, or at a mates house a few blocks away.
If it was an ‘away’ match, there was never a concern that en route you may be mugged or fall prey to some other form of evil. You were pretty safe on the streets and parents didn’t seem too concerned about where you were or what you were doing, as long as you returned when you said you would. If you were late, instead of thinking you were abducted or doing drugs, they more likely thought you were distracted catching tadpoles in the drains, building tree houses or skating at the school.
Such ACTIVities created opportunity to talk to mates and build friendships. We looked each other in the eye and had face to face conversations. We hardly ever spoke on the phone, except to arrange a real-life hang out. We never texted each other (largely due to the fact that mobile phones weren’t commonly used) so we spoke instead. And if we were having an argument or dispute we said it to each others’ face or fought it out on the grass. Now I’m not condoning fisticuffs but a punch in the nose often healed better than the emotional bruising of cyber bullying these days.
I am aware of and can acknowledge some of the practical benefits of Facebook. It can be an effective tool for organising and publicising things and can facilitate meaningful contact and communication between those who are separated by distance. But it is a poor substitute for good old fashioned face to face contact, I reckon.