Technology vs. Nature

I’ve heard this argument a whole lot before, but when I saw this video it just sent me over the edge.  The topic for this post is the fact that in this day and age, technology is taking over everything.  Instead of kids going to play outside, they’re playing video games and using the internet and things like that all the time.  So first I want to address my problems with that video, and then I’m going to give my thoughts on the subject at hand.

In the video, we see parents and grandparents talking about what they did when they were kids.  They would work on the family farm and plant things, they would go wander around in their local woods, they would just be outside all the time.  Then they had kids from nowadays saying what they like to do.  The kids all said how they like to play video games and be on the internet and things like that, and the parents and grandparents looked absolutely shocked and horrified.  While some of what the kids did say is a bit concerning, at the same time this video is being presented from the perspective of the older generation and demonizing the younger generation to say “this is bad”.  It’s giving a biased outlook on this subject.

First of all, I want to say, technology can be addicting and too much of it can be bad. (I’m looking at all the people who have their eyes glued to their phones and literally cannot look up for a second when they’re about to walk into a train).  But it seems like a lot of the older generation is saying that technology in general is bad and the fact that kids aren’t doing today what they used to do years back, that’s inherently bad.  I’d like to make the point that if parents and grandparents actually believe this, they can do something about it.  They were the ones who gave their kids this technology in the first place.  They got their kids these games.  They could be showing them what it is to have fun outside rather than just seeing them glued to technology and shaking their head in disgust.  If you don’t show them how this other thing is better, they’re never going to think it is.

The next point I want to make is that things have changed so much from when these people were kids.  I’m not talking strictly about how technology has changed, I’m talking about the world itself.  Depending on where you live, things don’t lend themselves well to just going out and playing like they used to.  My dad informed me that when he was a kid, the back yard of where we live now used to be just woods.  Now it’s houses.  At some point there used to be a rollerskating rink in our town, but it was torn down before I was ever even born.  Plus people are more cautious about what they let their kids do outside for safety reasons.

When I was a kid, I did used to play outside when I had friends to play with.  At some point I sort of lost all my friends, and the only people I could play with were my brother and his friends, but they got to the point that they didn’t want me around because I was a girl.  So I was left home to play by myself.  I did try to play outside by myself, but it was boring and lonely and people would give me looks like, “You’re playing by yourself? That’s pathetic.”  So I started staying inside and playing games on the computer and our N64.  I could play by myself and actually have fun and not feel so lonely.

The point I’m trying to make is that the older generation needs to realize the reason why kids are so into technology now.  And if they really do want kids to be doing things other than using technology, they need to give them a worthy alternative.  Just saying “go play outside” isn’t good advice.  Saying, “In my day…” is not going to get kids to want to do things like that.  We come from very different times, and the only way we’re going to understand one another is if we communicate.  Tell each other about the things you do and don’t judge each other.  Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it bad.

I don’t normally write posts about these sorts of subjects, but it’s rather close to my heart.  Playing video games, watching movies, TV, or internet videos, things like that, are all things I love to do.  Perhaps I am addicted to technology, but at the same time it gets me through the day.  I get more story ideas by doing these things.  It expands my mind in ways I might not have been able to by just being outside.  I’m not saying to never go outside again – I actually love being out in nature if I can find a peaceful enough place to do it.  But saying that kids who like to play video games and be on the internet as opposed to playing outside like you used to do when you were a kid is something bad, I don’t think is fair.

The world has changed and times have changed.  Things would go a whole lot smoother if each generation just learned to understand each other better.  Plan a date to go out hiking in a nature center.  Maybe play video games along with your kids.  Learn about each other, but don’t just blow each other off by saying how bad it is for being different.

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