I’m thinking that the generation of today’s children is pegged as the e-generation. Back when I was a kid the GameBoy was one of just two handhelds to have. Now, our kids can have a range of handheld electronics (not just games). Let’s see, we have the ipad, the ipod, an array of cell phones, the Nintendo DS to name one handheld video game player, I’m sure there’s more but I don’t have all night. I think if I could have had a cell phone when I was a kid, I’d probably pass on the bagphone.
I admit that I use the DS or my cell phone to keep a situation under control during what I like to dub the “chaos hour on-the-go”. Let me clarify. There’s a time of the day I like to call “CHAOS HOUR!!!” dun dun dun! This is the time of day that my children decide to compete in decibels and energy levels. It’s also a time of day I like to call “Daddy’s Home!” because they usually coincide with eachother. There’s a little switch that flicks when Daddy enters the house and in the depths of my kids brains they ultimately have to make Daddy believe that it’s been like this all day and mom really has no control whatsoever. The worst part? The dog loves to join in on chaos hour. This 10+ year old dog becomes a puppy for chaos hour and for some reason snorts and sneezes repetitively. So, take Chaos Hour and take it on the road, or to a football game, a restaurant… you get the picture. Thank you Nintendo for taking a video game console and making it portable. Sorry, Sega.
My opinion is that my generation is well aware that our children could easily become a generation fully dependent on electronics. Seriously, I saw a commercial where a kid was happy to watch a movie on his device while he was at the beach. It made me sick to my stomach. But, I think many of us are up to the challenge of not limiting our children’s worlds to 4 inches in front of their face. I’ve been paying attention to children and their devices. I’ve been to soccer games, a college football game, malls, grocery stores, parks, restaurants, etcetera, etcetera. I’m pretty impressed that most kids are still reading books made from trees, they are throwing wood chips and playing tag. Kids are talking to eachother, running amok, talking out of turn and not watching where they’re going (because they have too much energy, not because they have their heads in an electronic).
I can’t give myself credit for setting limits and using electronics as a reward, not a babysitter. I give many people credit for being aware. Sure, there are those who give electronics a bad name. Why else would there be movies showing teenagers mass texting or texting from the next room? It’s true to a point. But you can’t say we are not aware. You can’t say we rely on electronics to find serenity in our day. We still find happiness in doing it “old school” with books and paint and kites. However, I do enjoy humor about kids who are confused when they see a rotary phone or a phone booth. Still, kudos to us! Kudos to us.