We recently came back from a 3 ½ week road trip in New Zealand. We drove from Christchurch to Auckland and did about 3500 km’s of exploring. Apart from the aching beauty that make NZ such an amazing place to visit; one of the true highlights for us was our daughters had next to no use of their i-devices. We said you can use them but it will cost you $5 a day in roaming fees which they had to pay for. So they opted not to and suddenly … there were our children!
Effective pretty much immediately; they engaged in greater, more introspective and interesting conversations. They read books. Spent hours drawing. Hand washed dishes and helped out without complaint. They climbed trees. Played chess and other board games. Explored. They basically did more of the activities anyone in an older generation took for granted as a kid; than I’ve seen them do in quite a while.
I asked them about halfway through our trip if they’d noticed a difference? They agreed that they had.
I asked them if they missed Instagram, Youtube etc? Yes they did but not as much as they thought.
And did they feel they’d missed out on much? No they hadn’t.
Staring at screens for hours on end has become the norm for teens. I keep hearing ‘it’s how they communicate in their world’ but I also keep hearing how it’s having a detrimental affect on their overall health. As clever as it all is, it seems to zap a lot of creativity, ideas, spontaneity, motivation and conversation.
Don’t get me wrong I am not anti-technology or social media but when it comes to children, teens and their mental wellbeing it seems timely that Apple has been asked by shareholders to make their devices less additive to young people.
Apparently Bill Gates and Steve Jobs strictly limited the usage of devices by their kids in the home. Maybe they were ahead of their time in realizing just what sort of digital ‘crack’ they were creating.