"I've remembered about buttercups, stink bugs and stars." -Tim Kreider
Our children have grown up as a generation that is more accustomed to playing on screens than racing toothpick boats down gutters when it rains.
There are screens in taxi cabs, airplanes, in minivans, beside our beds, and in our hands.
Monkey see what monkey do--4 million children born after 2001 (Generation Y/Boomlets) own a cellphone and do not know a world without computers and screens.
61% of children between the ages of 8-17 have televisions in their rooms.
In the US some preschoolers spend twelve hours a week outside.
Teens? Less than seven.
When I was a kid, my screen expense was a Sunday Disney movie--and that's it.
My entertainment was bringing home frogs in DQ cups from camping, hiding them in my basement, killing flies to feed it.
I had little animals made out of glass, painted play doh and acted out scenarios in my utopian community for hours on end.
I made perfume out of rose petals and sold it on my block on weekends.
With the advent of computers and web based learning, children leave toys behind at a younger age. It's known as KGOY (Kids growing older younger).
Many companies such as Mattel, the producer of Barbie have suffered because of it.
As children reach the age of four and five, old enough to play on the computer they become less interested with toys and begin to wish for electronics such as cellphones and iPads.
Jason Silvia said recently, "In the age of social media attention has become the new limited resource. Attention is the new oil. When so many signals are competing for our attention we experience a kind of bandwidth anxiety, we are overwhelmed and overcome in a multi screen world where every app is trying to literally mediate and manage our attention. Attention is a new currency. Attention is a new resource. I've read that if you don't have ADD today that you're not paying attention."
Is this what we're settling for?
A generation of instant gratification, screen faced, attention span of gerbil zombies?
Will all of our children's children have ADD and be connected to screens 24/7?
We need to begin playing, immediately.
We need to replace screens with paint brushes, with drums, with dirt, with song, with pencils, with mediation, with dance.
Just a twenty minute walk in nature can help kids with ADHD concentrate better.
We need to unplug, put down and participate.