A World Unseen

unseen

“Mom! The battery died on my iPad!” Joe looks up. He screams. “Mom! What’s that?” Shaking her head, “Joe, that’s a tree.”

Everywhere we go, kids are seen with their faces glued to the screens of mobile devices. It makes me wonder if they even know that there is a world out there. There is a time and place for these devices, but they should not be used as a substitute for life. Life needs to be lived outside of the screen.

Last week, my son and I were walking through a grocery store. A little girl around the age of 4, was walking behind her mother. That’s normal. What’s not, is the fact that she was walking while playing a game on an iPad. Not one time, that I saw, did she ever look up. She was glued to that screen from one end of the store to the other.

I thought I had seen it all, but I was wrong. The other day, we were driving and went to make a left hand turn onto a side road. Kid you not, there was a man walking across the street, eating pizza, while watching a movie on a mini PC that was being held up by the pizza box.

What is this world coming to? The movie can be watched at home. The games can be played in the car. Because of their addiction to technology, people are missing out on so much. Kids are not even being kids anymore. They’re turning into little zombies.

My son just had a birthday. Yay, I’m older. Ha! He wanted an iPad. I don’t like to disappoint him, but he’s not getting one. He has a computer at home and a little gaming device that he can take on road trips. That’s enough technology, and even that is used with limitations. He has scheduled computer time, and during the rest of the time he draws, builds, and enjoys other typical boy activities. He needs to know that there is a greater world outside of the screen.

Speaking of outside, do kids even play outdoors anymore? When I was growing up, the residential streets were flooded with children riding bikes, skate boarding and playing street hockey. Where are they now? It is rare for us to see children outside playing.

I miss hearing their laughter outside of our window as they run by and roll their toys down the sidewalk. Those are the sounds of childhood; sounds that are rarely heard anymore.

The world is filled with beauty and wonder. It’s all around us. It is a world that should be enjoyed, a world that should be lived.

Yet sadly, it is becoming a world unseen.

 

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28 Responses to A World Unseen

  1. Tim Taylor says:

    How right you are with this post!

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  2. I do agree that electronic devices are being used more and more as babysitters, and I completely disagree with that – fortunately, our neighborhood still is full of kids playing outside! 🙂

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  3. Tis true my dear….things are much different than when we were growing up. I was only allowed to watch so much TV a day and during the summer we were kicked outside as soon as we ate breakfast! Many times staying outdoors until dark. Technology has done a lot of harm in human relationships…but there is no going back unfortunately! 😦

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    • mewhoami says:

      Your growing up sounds a lot like mine. Out in the morning and back at dinner time. I agree that technology is hindering relationships and socialization among people. There may be no going back, but we can each certainly do our part in making sure those around us get a chance at living in both worlds.

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  4. You are very right. I just think that maybe the kids also look at their parents, as often sit with the mobile or so and then learn this is okay.

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  5. mommyx4boys says:

    You should come to my house its filled with laughter from my little ones outside in the pool, or playing with the waterhose, or in there tree house, which is not store bought but made by me and my children. They also have to help in the gardens, I will not allow them to become tv and video game addicted children.

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  6. suzjones says:

    We got our Tween an iPad mini for Christmas. She and it are joined at the hip I think. We do encourage her to go outside and run around but she only listens sometimes. Part of me thinks it is because she is a high schooler now that she has changed.

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  7. tric says:

    I think if we really believe this and enforce it we have some chance of beating the odds. My gang grew up playing outside as often as possible by choice.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree! “By choice” – that would be grand. I have to kick my son out of the house. He’s not too thrilled with the outdoors, but I pull him along every time I go. 🙂 He ends up enjoying it much more (most of the time) once he’s out there.

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  8. I grew up outside, mine grew up outside, and I’m glad to see the grands loving the outside. Not that technology isn’t around. But being outside running and screaming? They love it. I think some kids just don’t know it exists!

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    • mewhoami says:

      That’s wonderful! I definitely think it’s a generational thing. If we teach our children, they will teach their children and so on. Ha! Some don’t know it exists…I couldn’t agree with you more!

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  9. DailyMusings says:

    All I can say is I agree, and all true.

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  10. Cindi says:

    I published a post a couple days ago (about a Norwegian celebration my husband remembers from the 1950’s) — although the original post wasn’t about being unconnected, I had several commenters touch on it. This post of yours sums it all up so well!!

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    • mewhoami says:

      Good timing! We are becoming so unconnected, which is odd given how ‘connected’ we are these days. Internet connections will never be like face to face connections.

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  11. I couldn’t agree more. It is so hard to watch…especially because people are already distracted enough. I hope someday we get closer to the way things used to be but I am not holding my breath. It is such an impersonal world anymore

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  12. I completely agree with you! I have written quite a bit about this issue. There are many factors contributing to the screentime epidemic in our country (and in many other countries around the world). The hardest skill to teach to some kids is self-regulation (some adults have this problem!). As much as some parents try to teach and model this behavior for years and years, some kids will still have difficulty when they become independent. The world is full of college kids addicted to screens… 😦 Excellent post!

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    • mewhoami says:

      Yes, there are many factors. There have been several times when I wanted to write about them, but I already know that many people would disagree. So I don’t even bother. Self regulation is a lost skill, but a good one if people could enforce it. I agree that when children become independent most of the ‘rules’ they had while growing up get thrown out the window. I did it, and I’m sure most other kids do too. Thank you, Cate!

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  13. April says:

    I don’t like the way the world has become either. However, while my kids enjoyed playing outdoors–because in the early years I played out there with them, I played with them inside, and then they developed friends–they grew up watching their father and his attachment to what was called a Blackberry – aka – umbilical cord to his job. The grocery store is no place for a child–in my opinion–I never took them with me if I could avoid it because there is so much to overwhelm them that they must beg for things. I left mine home and shopped at weird hours–but if I did take them with me, any form of distraction would have been nice. We have gone a little overboard, because coloring books, note pads, and a deck of cards always seemed to work while waiting for doctor’s appointments.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s good that you used to play outdoors with your children and gave them alternatives to stay occupied with.

      I’ve seen some little tyrants running around grocery stores and I’m sure it would be nice to keep them at home, or entertained while there. I was spoiled in that sense. My son never acted out like other kids often do. He never begged for things, so he never got upset for not getting them. He just didn’t expect anything in the first place, so it was never an issue. So, shopping with him was a piece of cake.

      I like your idea about cards and notebooks. There is so much to keep kids entertained with, and it doesn’t always have to consume every ounce of their concentration.

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      • April says:

        You know what I find odd? When my daughter met her boyfriend, they mostly communicated via text. Not many phone calls. The wold also talk via instant chat on the computer. So weird. But they have been together for 4 years now, and both are happy. Hopefully, she remembers what it was like to use her imagination, and not resort to electronic gadgets.

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