By Anthony Santino
There’s no doubt that technology, by its nature, has improved humanity’s interactions with the world throughout history. From the wheel to the MacBook, we’ve benefitted an unmeasurable amount from things created by man that make our lives easier, more entertaining, and the like.
However, sometimes it seems as if technology we’ve been afforded is detrimental through excessive use—as well as when certain technologies are put in the hands of exceptionally young children.
Nowadays, I feel like every kid has an iPad, and I don’t think that’s good. Saying something to that effect makes me sound like a grandpa, but that’s fine. Grandpas are cool, and so is this take, for my feeling on this matter is rooted in the desire to preserve the sanctity of…playing.
As a kid, there weren’t a lot of kids on my block, but I still had sports when no one else was around to hang out. Especially in warmer weather, there isn’t much that can beat quality time spent in nature. Backyards, front yards and parks are some of the best sanctuaries the world has to offer.
I feel that playing away from screens and related technology—whether inside or outside—is critical for a person’s development. I even feel that this is an idea that adults should exercise, too.
Physical activity releases endorphins, and sports also help a person develop life skills and expanded outlooks. You can learn about yourself and others in ways you don’t necessarily expect to.
I’ve played both organized and unorganized sports my entire life, and I’m thankful for having that experience under my belt.
When I teach tennis, I casually observe how some parents “discipline” their kids by taking away screen time.
I know that to the kids accustomed to technology that seems like a harsh punishment, but that’s actually a blessing in the long run.
I feel like technology is so distracting and full of noise that what might be considered normal exposure to it by today’s standards is actually just way too much. Just because there’s an apple on the tree, that doesn’t mean you have to eat it (I’m talking to you, Eve (not you, Eve from The Spectrum—I mean Eve from ‘Adam and Eve’).
Now this is the point in the ‘He Said’ where I put one of my classic disclaimers out there.
As a child, I watched a lot of television. I mean, definitely well above a normal amount. Shows like Boy Meets World, Full House, and Family Matters are just some of the dozens of shows in my weekly rotation. However—and this ‘however’ is what brings me back to the central argument—I still found my way outside plenty.
For me back then, it was either ABC Family, or go outside and play.
In today’s world, it just feels like kids have too many options. Kids are still developing their brains. I mean, I know 22-year-olds who haven’t gotten past an eighth grade frame of mind.
That, I think, is partly due to poor media intake choices and too much exposure. We’ve got so much going on today that it’s oversaturating some people’s minds to the point of constant distractedness.
This definitely came out looking like a played out rant, but hey—I want the kids to be mentally healthy.
My best way to summarize my feelings on this matter is to wrap up by saying ease up on the “iPad time.” It sounds silly to allot time for it, and too much of it will make your kid a robot.