Children Raised on Technology

Lifestyle / Monday, February 24th, 2014

One thing I hated about being a kid was being bored. There never seemed to be anything that would keep me pre-occupied. We always begged our parents to let us watch TV, or go on the computer. The answer was always no. Because in reality, there was more than enough to do that would have our minds much more active than sitting in front of a screen. This was over a decade ago, at least, for me. Today’s world is a much more technologically advanced place. The young minds of today are making me nervous for the future we will have tomorrow.

Our computer was dial-up. The computer was on a special desk in my parents room. And if anyone needed the phone, you had to get off the computer. No questions asked, that was life. Today, if even a teenager heard the ‘dial up’ sound, they’d question and ask what that was. When all it does is bring memories back to my mind.

The TV was the big box TV, that you had to get up and turn the nob to change the channel. We didn’t watch TV enough to have a fancy one. Our movies were Disney VHS’s, no DVD’s or video games. TV shows weren’t Hannah Montana and Shake it up. They were Sailor moon, Pokemon and Boy Meets World. Our Franklin wasn’t a 3D snoozefest. The cartoons were hand drawn, not computer generated, and the content was much more appealing for the age groups they were presented to.

Kids today have iPhones and Tablets and gaming systems that I don’t even have, and I’m a full grown adult. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was in high school. Even then it wasn’t connected to the internet, I had no

Pokemon was banned in my school
because kids got in fights over them

data. I was on pay-as-you-go. If I couldn’t pay, the phone didn’t go. I’ve literally seen elementry school students with more technology available and ready for their daily use than I have in my whole house.

What happened to riding your scooter to the corner store, but not before begging for a toonie so you could buy a few candies and slurpee? Or what about phoning your best friend, on a land line, and politely asking their mom if so-and-so was home to play, or allowed to spend the night, or just stay for dinner. Board games and card games were the thing to do. Any house with a tramploine would attract all sorts of kids. Young and old, everyone got along and would have fun together.

Reading a book, playing with barbies, side walk chalk, making a fort (inside or out), walkie talkies, tag, hide and seek, boys vs girls, going to the park, skipping rope, slip and slides, sprinklers. These are all things I have very fond memories of when I think of my childhood. And they are things I hope and wish my child(ren?) to experience.

But children aren’t all to blame. They aren’t the enablers. They are simply

“The popular mobile game comes to life!”

the products of what we hand them. How many baby toys are out there today where you can plug in your iPhone or iPad and let them play? Buying a board game today is a novelty thing. Words with friends? I’m sorry, it’s not a game made from a phone app, I’m pretty sure it’s called scrabble.

I know everyone says they wont be ‘that parent’ who sits their child down in front of a screen for hours to keep them calm and quiet, but I really hope I am not that kind of parent. I want my kid to have a childhood experience that I got. I didn’t turn out too bad, and when I compare how I was back then to what children are like today, I think I liked my generation much better.

Technology is what keeps our world moving forward, but it isn’t always for the better. For anyone who has children or wants to have children, keep in mind how your childhood was. Isn’t the purpose of reproducing partly to make your off-springs life a bit better than your own? How is making their imagination stunted by lack of use better than your own? In 50 years we won’t have the next Xbox one. Because no one will have thought of it. Keep our world moving forward, integrate technology, but don’t rely on it. For the sake of our children. If you want quiet time, don’t turn on the TV, throw a book in their direction. Don’t raise children on Technology. They aren’t robots. They are people. And people need to interact with people and have people thoughts.