Monday, July 13, 2015

Chocolate, Heroin, and Print Books by Linda S. Glaz

Two things that cause addiction, and one that will hopefully steer a child in a good direction. What?
On the news recently, the hours that children and adults spend on electronic media really surprised me. Like chocolate and heroin, electronic media has become such a strong addiction that it often replaces meals and sleep. Children 8-10 are spending an average of 8 hours a day while teens and adults average 10 hours a day. I say this as I sit at my computer with most functions open and my tv blaring the background noise that I need in order to work. I know…weird, but I’ve always needed noise to be productive. Sigh.
So what happened to hours outside exploring caterpillars, spider webs covered in mist, and a pick up baseball game or two? Have they been replaced with the latest addiction? First tv took all the blame, and now it seems that social media in one form or another has replaced the boob tube.
Like any other addiction, in time, it can lead to more serious things. Is there a way for us to “model” behavior that will steer children (and adults) toward print books, games outside, and fun without a phone or tablet.
Kids’ programs and contests? The prize is often a tablet. How about books. Real…in your face books for a change.
Most of us laugh at the life the Cleavers and Andersons lived, but I have to be honest, I miss the dinners around the table with kids staring at the turkey, potatoes, and apple pie hoping they get their share. I suppose I am the last generation that actually understands that concept on a daily basis. I know when my kids were growing up, theatre, soccer, and various other school activities put a halt on every night dinners. But we still managed a few throughout the week.
As rehab centers for social media sprout up like weeds in the yard, I have to wonder where childhood has gone? The theatre rehearsals and soccer nights that I once bemoaned at least offered physical activity. What next? Are we so close to the sci-fi predictions of the fifties and sixties that soon we’ll simply sit the entire day and interact with our computers?
Chocolate…addictive. Oh yeah. Just ask any woman. Heroin? Okay, I don’t know anyone addicted to heroin, but I assume it’s pretty bad. A print book…if only.
Have we gone too far to ever return to caterpillars and spider webs?
And what does that mean for the future?

1 comment:

Terri Tiffany said...

When I recently went to PA for a visit, my two grandkids came as well. They had never caught fireflies or enjoyed a bonfire. After two days of playing outside all day, they stopped asking for the ipad or TV. It was exciting to watch their imaginations explode with ideas.

I think it's easy for parents today to hand their child an electronic device as a babysitter instead of spending the quality time needed with them. I do worry. I worry and pray about our future children.