During a big thunder-boomer Monday evening, my daughter started to complain when the satellite when out that there was nothing to watch on TV. Well dang. The TV shouldn’t even be on during a storm but I told her to grab the iPad and see what was on Net-Flix, and it got me thinking. We’ve all received, at one time or another, the e-mails and Facebook posting that talk about what we did without when we were kids and how we made it just fine. I used to wonder what I would tell my children that I did without. I certainly thought I had everything I needed to get by growing up: a radio, later a stereo, a bike to ride up to the corner store, a yard to play in and friends to be with, but until today I never really thought about how different our children’s lives are with the technology that is available.
Go ahead, think back. Did you have over three hundred friends that you could contact on a daily basis when you were 13 and NOT tie up the phone line forever? Could you text with the speed of a seal on steroids to your parents to come pick you up because band practice had ended early? Could you play a game with a “friend” a continent away, exploding worlds and conquering armies? Were you able to, with the stroke of a computer key, get the new song you just heard without leaving home? Geez, between iPads, iPhones, and iPods I’m not sure if I-Matter! What’s a mom to do?
I turn off the TV and send them outside and we hike through the woods when it’s cool and autumn is in the air. We go to the pool and swim until we’re so exhausted we could vanish into quiet slumber before we hit the sheets, but it’s hard to get them out. How much is too much? What do we do to ensure they get out and get going and actually live a life instead of a virtual one? Activities help and getting them involved in drama, sports and other venues, but it gets harder every day. I’m not so sure what future e-mails will say when our children are grown. At the risk of sounding like my Mama, what have they possibly done without?