There is a trend in the world today. An all to sad one. Kids bury their faces in empty screens that show no emotion. They spend less than 8 minuets outside a day. Being outside is a punishment. They fail to see the beauty of the grass, the possibilities of the cardboard box. The fabulous lego structures good enough to be Michelangelo.
Ever since I was a young spry kid, I was building and engineering things. My favorite toy was the box that all the other toys came in. I would play with that box for hours and create forts and draw and paint it. I would crawl inside and build fortresses out of my blocks and lincoln logs. I loved boxes. My box forts continued to grow larger and more complex as I grew older. At the time I had entered preschool my Dad worked at Hooked On Phonix and one day he brought me home some gigantic foam letters from his office and my brother, my best friend Kayla, and I spent days building what we thought was the greatest fort mankind had ever built. We painted it and designed furniture for the inside and it became the best hangout spot we ever had. I later grew to love legos and the endless possibilities there were for creativity. Leggos brought with them no limits and so I never followed directions and instead would spend weeks building extremely detailed leggo cities that I would continuously add on to.
This hands on tangibility teaches so much and is far more intimate than learning any other way. Drawing a tablet feels far different than drawing on paper. It’s the same thing as the difference between taking gym class on line and actually participating in the workouts and games.
People have lost the ability to communicate face to face. They have lost the ability to appreciate their surroundings. The have lost the importance of nature and they don’t get outside. Our kids aren’t going to know what do without their technology. Outside? eww you kidding me? it so dirty and grimmy. Ewww I got a sliver I’m done for the day. This may be the extreme but It’s were our world is headed and it’s terrifying.
The influx of technology is in incredible and I use it everyday but there is a point where it goes to far. When 4th graders are walking around with iphones and tablets, has that passed the line? I think so. It created dependence on something that shouldn’t be depended on. Technology should be an aid not a lifestyle. When I was growing up I grew up on the mantra that the outside was my world and my backyard became castles and deserts and mountains and rivers. My creativity was free to flow and my best memories lay in dirt piles, mud fights and snow forts. I was free to go where I pleased. I wasn’t connected, it was just my bike my friends and a time to be home by. I got live and explore and feel and learn with my own hands. Sure I hurt myself and sure that sucked but I grew up tougher and I grew up with an imagination that has carried me through my young life.
The trouble is this. When imaginations disappear so does innovation and this is the next generation we are raising. So are we gonna raise young creators, inventors, believers and achievers or are we gonna raise kids whose only desire is to play on their ipad when they return home.
Nature is wild and beautiful but it constantly inspires. It is what should be depended on not the newest app to come out. It is important to experience it and see the beauty in our surroundings. It is important to see that cardboard box as a new fort rather than something to be discarded.
So get out go play and inspire those around you to do the same.
There is far more to life than screens. It’s time to see that.