Among our fondest memories are spending the warm summer afternoon playing waffle ball and riding bikes, when the long-awaited ice cream truck finally comes downs the block, we will sit while talking with friends. At the time, there we much less digital distractions and our connections with video games were just occasional playtime sessions with Nintendo NES and Atari.
At the time, our indoor interaction revolves around our family. There was only TV time after dinner and children enjoyed physical toys that they could directly touch. These made dinner and other family times as the time to share thoughts and other things. It was much easier to install family values.
Unfortunately, many of our own children are deprived of all good things in life. In fact, we are as adults have deprived of these, due to the introduction of modern technology. People have much different life compared to what they got 30 or 40 years ago. This is the time when adults should open their eyes on the alarming reality of the modern digital lifestyle.
There are many thousands of games for Android and iOS; they could be installed freely. It means that children could literally spend hours each day staring on their smartphones and tablets. This indicates how modern electronics have restricted their daily activities.
For millennia, children are naturally active and spend many times doing outdoors activities; instead of playing video games and watching zombies in TV series. This situation doesn’t only affect middle class families, but also children from poverty stricken families. Smartphones are common and many can be obtained for less than $80, especially those made in China.
Mobile devices are no longer devices for wealthy individuals and they have become common tools for ordinary people. It means that the situation has affected many people and this must be addressed.
Parents who didn’t have the pervasive digital enjoyments during their childhood could actually become a bit too comfortable. They have allowed children to get busy with many devices. Lack of communication during dinner time isn’t considered as a problem. Mobile devices could become a big thing for children, perhaps even bigger than parents themselves.
Family members normally bring their mobile devices with them during family times. It depends on parents on making rules whether mobile devices should be brought to these occasions. This will take some time to accomplish and maybe even a few arguments. To minimize conflicts, parents should also be able to show how digital-less outdoor activities can still be exciting and pleasant.
Outdoor activities will never be obsolete and they should become parts of daily activities. In fact, even camping at the backyard, while grilling on open fire could provide introduction for children how they can do things outside the house. Parents may extend these activities by having real camping during weekend, followed by hike to the hills and fishing on the river.
The only digital device that can be allowed during this occasion is probably a camera; because it will be able to encourage children to explore the nature more and recall their memories.