Danielle's Blog Spot

What Happened to the Good Ol’ Days?

Posted on: May 29, 2009

This week’s lesson had a lot that I could voice an opinion on.  A huge subject on which I have a lot to say is kids and technology.  Kids are truly growing up “wired”.  I’m only 24, but a lot has changed from even when  I was growing up.  It seems like kids were more creative in the 80’s and early 90’s.  For example, I started taking dance lessons when I was two.  I took everything!  Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Twirling, Tap, Pom-Pom, and I danced competitively and did competitive strut marching.  That took up a large part of my time.  When I was at home, I was either practicing my new dance routines, playing with Barbies and dolls, jumping rope, exploring my back yard, playing on the swings, riding bikes, rollerbladding, skateboarding.  Television was something minimal on my own account.  We had several TVs in the house, but I enjoyed other things.  When SEGA came out, we got one, but only my brother really played it.   Later on when I was like 11 maybe, we got the internet.  Our time spent on AOL was kept to a minimum.  My brother was one that grew up playing video games.  He had every game console that ever came out.  If he bought a game and didn’t like it, he’d trade it in for another one.  He has devoted thousands of hours to gaming.  Maybe is a good time to mention that he chose not to go to college, he has a limited social life, and at 21 just now decided he wanted to go to a career/vocational school.  Is this a future that plagues all little gamers?

I think it’s a shame to see children growing up without childhoods.  All of these kids out there don’t see sunlight because they’re inside attatched to their computers, TVs, and game consoles.  There are also a few exceptions.  The kids out there who are like 13 years old and have more expensive and interesting cell phones than I have at 24.  These kids are all about material and designer items and worship celebrities and refuse to act like kids because the celebrites they see in magazines, online, on TV, and in movies don’t act like little kids.  That’s because they’re not little kids.  A lot of the time, I blame the parents.  I also like to blame parents when technology comes back to haunt them.  There are shows called, “To Catch a Predator” for a reason.  MySpace has a policy, or use to have one, where if you were under the age of 18, you couldn’t have a profile.  Of course young teens lied about their age and got profiles on these networking sites and it was just an easier outlet for predators to track their young prey.  When young teen girls post pictures of themselves dressed like a stripper and posing like one on their profile, how do the parents not know?  If parents took control over how much their kids were on the internet and what sites they were on, would it help?  It may help some to preserve what little bit of a childhood they have left.  It may hurt advertisers though who depend on young teens getting onto these types of sites to market to.   Any thoughts?

Of course with technology being so integrated into teen’s lives, it’s hard to monitor.  Several kids find their friendships being kept online. 

Here’s an interesting article from CBS about teens being “wired”.  It’s 3 years old so everything has gotten even more advanced since then (keep that in mind)

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/06/09/gentech/main1698246.shtml

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2 Responses to "What Happened to the Good Ol’ Days?"

I don’t have kids either, so I understand the thought to blame the parents. (Believe me, in the restaurant business, we do that alot!) However that’s not really fair as we don’t know how hard it is to work, maybe even two jobs, and have a child and other people in the house to care for.

And unfortunatley, parents often don’t know what their kids are up to. I can for one say that I snuck around and did stuff when my mom was at work or school (she started college when I was 17). I’m sure you have some stories too. But I had an intersting conversation with Maureen (Beth) from class at teh IMC Dinner last night and she stated that she is a friend on her kids and young relatives Facebook pages so she will often check out their moods and comments. Sounds pretty smart. Kids are gonna lie and answer “oh nothing, it was fine” when you ask them about what they did today or how they feel. But technology now offers a way now to do some investigating.

A few years ago I earned my undergrad at Clarion University of PA. It’s a very small college atmosphere, but definitely a great place for someone like me who wasn’t completely comfortable with the big college town thing. The campus was small, but it still took me a while to walk to my classes from one end to the other. One day I was walking in the middle of campus and found myself face to face with a child, maybe 6 or 7, who was clutching a cell phone and said “Dad, are you going to pick me up now? I’m waiting on the corner.” I was completely shocked!!! To think that a young child would have a cell phone and be relying solely on that for communication to his parents was completely unthinkable.
I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 15 and began driving. It was for that purpose only… not to just call my friends and socialize or text! It blows my mind to know how far today’s youth has come since I was in their shoes (and I’m only 25!!). Parents are relying on these forms of emerging media and technological advances to do the jobs they’re supposed to be doing… or paying people to do for them. Society has become so dependent on monetary earnings that they’re losing sight of what’s really important in life… friends, family, and overall unconditional happiness. It’s not right to replace parental responsibility with technology.
Because of this, kids are becoming more and more dependent on technology. They’re learning faster that we all ever have before and really can’t separate themselves from the computer, video games, and cell phones. So what does that mean for traditional forms of learning in schools, for instance? It’s created quite a problem for teachers to compete with holding the interest of children with the same tools that were always used. Crayons just aren’t enough anymore. For additional information related to this topic, visit http://tgnfr.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/the-big-push/.

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