By Annie Tran:
What is this madness I hear now? Kids choosing to stay inside during recess to play on the computers? Trading Pokémon on their DSi’s? Checking their Neopets accounts? I must confess that I myself was once involved in all of these activities but never during recess. Heck, when I had a chance to go outside, I’d just grab it and go.
It seems our generation has set up quite the paradox for our following successors. In this day and age, it is no longer surprising to see toddlers with iPads and third graders walking around with flashy new cell phones. A large percent of parents are doling out hundreds of dollars on whatever pleases their little baby bumpkins despite the recent economic recession. It may seem surprising to some, but the philosophy these days seems to be that if it’s for the kids’ betterment or education, why not?
This generation of tech-parents, however, are failing to realize that unfortunately, with the introduction of sophisticated technology, the new generation has produced more and more children that would simply prefer to stay inside staring at blinking screens. With all of the surrounding technology that we have thus far achieved, we seem to have lost a sense of humanity that less and less children are experiencing: going outside.
Parents don’t realize that by allowing this to continue, they are actually harming their children socially. In the past, our generation has been granted simpler toys that garnered more of our imagination versus now where everything is already done for us. Also, for our own enjoyment, we depended more on our imagination and played games outside like hide-and-seek or freeze tag. Now, it’s more like “Hey, want to play a game with me online?”
Has the idea of going outside for the sake of fun been thrown away? Believe it or not, we learn the social skills we’ll need to later survive in our overcritical and cutthroat world from those simple outdoors games. We may encounter problems with playmates that we have to find solutions to by ourselves, without depending on a computer to communicate our feelings to another human being. As humans, we crave face-to-face social correspondence. In fact, recent studies have even proclaimed that humans respond best to touch and visual 3-D interaction. However, it seems we’ve created a whole new network of artificial social skills, so that children spend less time with other people.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the development of new technology. However, there should be limits to how much a child is exposed to. Parents should not be resorting to sticking their kids in front of a television or just handing them a pacifying Apple product. That, my friends, is taking the easy way out.
Yes, I know most of us have memories of ourselves as kids just sitting in front of the TV and watching the mystical stories of Disney come to life or giggling at the latest Blue’s Clues episode, but at least we’ve come to cherish those childhood relics. Now, I see kids obsess about things like Miley Cyrus’s new sexy look or the new update on the Angry Birds app for the iTouch.
If children paid as much attention to nature as they do the latest Wizards of Waverly Place episode, perhaps they would develop more inclination for social interaction, thus preventing them from learning life’s hardest lessons alone.