Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Back to the Real World

Yesterday, I went out to my art class and hadn't even left the unit complex when I saw a Dad walking his two kids out the front to see them off at the bus stop. But he had given one of them his phone to play with - the youngest one - and she proceeded to walk all over the road, in front of my car. Of course I stopped, waited until she was pulled of the road by her Dad and then crawled past. But she was out in front of my car again before I knew it with the phone up in front of her face not looking where she was going.

Now, her Dad became very frustrated with her and took the phone from her, pocketing it and telling her to watch where she was walking - which didn't do anything for her sense of direction. She took the phone from his pants pocket and started looking at it again (he didn't know she had done this). By this time, I was at the car gate waiting for it to open; and the little girl walked straight into the back of my car with the phone in her hand! Her Dad snatched it from her and walked around the driver's side and told both kids to 'come around here' but they walked around the passenger side of my and in front of my car (just as the car gate cleared my car) and ran to their Dad, who yelled at them. He spotted that his daughter had yet again had in her hands his phone! He grabbed it, put it away - again - and then smacked her, then her brother who asked him why he got smacked. The Dad told the older child it was for not doing as he was told (following his father's direct orders) and the youngest for taking the phone when he had confiscated it from her more than once and not watching where she was walking. 

Now... I watched this whole thing and am wondering exactly how are we going to bring up children to understand that those blue glowing screens aren't the end all and be all of everything? 

Okay, I have a smartphone and I use it a lot, but I don't go wandering around with it glued to my face all the time or have it plugged into my ears. I'm also on the computer and on the internet - but only for a certain amount of time. 

There has to be something done about the generation of children we're bringing into this world, as they're going to wind up so engrossed in their computer world that they won't understand or know what's going on around them. 

Seeing how I was brought up in the 1980's where computers were in their infancy, and now they fit neatly in our pockets, I think it'd be a great idea if this generation of children were introduced to a few days a week where they were disconnected from the Wifi completely just so they didn't have the convenience of Facebook, Google or texting their friends. This is so they are forced to get their backsides outside and to breath some fresh air and not air-conditioning, to pick up a real book, get in and and get their hands dirty with some gardening or taking out the rubbish without throwing an all-out tantrum that they're going to miss out on something online... oh yes, that all-famous FOMO. 

And before anyone jumps on here, telling me that's not possible, well, I have at least one day a week where I'm not online. I don't have Foxtel or Wifi in my house and I have recently gone without data on my smartphone and found it rather refreshing to not be bothered by endless texts or any weird phone calls from scammers (yes, they need to know if you've got data to actually call you - strange but true). It was nice, quiet and interestingly mind-clearing to not have data on my phone for a week, simply because I couldn't afford it. 

I seriously think it's time we all turned off our phones and computers for a day and dragged our families out into the real world kicking screaming to breath some air, look outside, turn our faces up to the blue, blue sky (which really isn't blue, but an illusion - I'm not going into here) and enjoy the lovely thing called Nature. Yes, we seem to be missing out on that lately. 

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