In my opinion, the largest difference the current generation of children has as compared to past generations is the influence of the internet. No generation has ever before been bombarded with information and social pressures as they are today. No generation of children has ever before carried phones in their pockets, constantly attached to the world at all times.
In the past, children would come home from school and visit with friends, do homework, do chores, and then possibly spend the rest of the evening with their families. Today, they might still be busy chatting with friends online until late hours, even robbing themselves of needed sleep.
In the past, children could be protected to some extent from the negative influences of the adult world. Today, not only is porn and violence available on every phone, tablet, and pc, but it does not wait to be found by a child. It is there, ready to be seen by any surfing eye.
In the past, it was enough of a challenge for kids to concentrate on school work. Now, however, there are the constant distractions of text messages, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, entertainment updates, news headlines, and many other interruptions. Children were not meant to multitask constantly.
Finally, with all of the TV, video games, and internet usage available to children, there is very little incentive to go outside and be active. Because of this, today's youth are facing more obesity and internal health problems than ever before. In the past, children became victims to external health threats such as viruses. Today, kids tend to unknowingly cause their own health problems.