The hours’ children commit to technology is only half the problem
It’s very difficult to practice what you preach. For those that have been reading for a while, (thank you- group hug) I’ve been preaching, border line dictating that children should get outdoors and be active, preferably kicking a soccer ball.
Half the problem?
The other half of the problem is the degree to which parents (you and me) are tech savvy. Microsoft, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Emails, Texts and the list is the same, but different.
Now here’s the scary thing.
Research has identified that children spend, on average, more than 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen. That’s right, 7.5 hours and this does not include school or homework.
Times have changed from,
“Can I ride my bike?”
“Can we play soccer?”
“Can I visit Gerry?”
“Can I cross the road?”
“Can I play Wii?”
“Can I play your phone?”
“Can I use your computer?”
“Can I watch Ben10?”
So how did our children become slaves to technology?
Easy Parenting 101
We buy it for them, give them permission to use it and provide them with beanbags, space and the environment to play it. What better way to relax when you’re tired? Out of sight, out of mind.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
How many hours do you spend with technology? With the introduction of the iphone, I’m constantly on Facebook monitoring my Soccer Mastermind Group. If you haven’t liked the page yet, what are you waiting for?
Not to mention my Twitter followers (@kidssoccer- please follow) and my Digg subscribers. Throw in my Blackberry from work and all of a sudden 7.5 hours have passed never to be recovered again.
Back to the Future
I’m not concerned with technology in fact I love it. The Liverpool vs. Man United game wouldn’t be the same without the Facebook/Twitter discussions and banter.
We cannot slow technology or the march of the terabytes. What concerns me is the opportunity cost technology has created for our kids and the inevitable side effects that will follow.
Obesity, illiteracy and the lack of social interactions will create victims as opposed to happy users.
As parents it is our responsibility to ensure our children’s development is controlled by us, not technology.
Switch off all electricals and head down to the local pastures and breath in the fresh air. Imagine if you replaced the 7.5 hours spent in front of a screen with training, practice and a few good books. But here’s the paradox, chances are you’re reading this on your iphone.
Remember, behaviour is a function of consequence and technology is not an end in itself but rather a means to an end. Do not let your children be the victims of our negligence.
Some people claim they can predict the future. In the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s, statements like this would be ridiculed and frowned upon. In the new millennium, it’s not that hard at all when everything is televised via social media, satellites, YouTube and paid television.
The future is easy to predict, given enough time, reality will conform to Science and statistics.
My Future Predictions
- 70-80% of kids will continue to quit the game of soccer.
- Obesity will rise creating a new level of fat referred to as “please leave your room and get a life before you die.”
- McDonalds will continue to poison our children and disguise the fact with a “happy” meal and the complimentary toy.
- The death of the pencil/ eraser as we all plug ourselves into the trustworthy monitor of pixels.
- Governments will continue to hide the truth. Stop selling oil in American dollars if you want our children to live in a peaceful world.
- The infestation of soccer zombies will rise, rise, not in search of brains but money.
- Friends will be replaced with ipads, iphones, ipods and in the event you miss having friends, download the “friends” app from iTunes and surround yourself with virtual friends.
- If you start to tire, forget exercise, nutrition and slam down a big bottle of sugar and live life with wings. For those that miss the sarcasm, sugar is the number one killer. Please do not drink energy drinks.
In Science we Trust
Scientists cite statistics and analyse the outcomes/ results. Seeing the future doesn’t require science. It requires clarity and some time away from technology. Kids need to build character, resilience and friendships. They will not get these saving the princess or spending endless hours mastering FIFA13.
Now that I have painted the future, please understand this,
Karma is a boomerang and the long term shame and guilt of cheating your children through laziness and technology will inevitably catch up with you.
“May the winds of destiny blow you to the stars”
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