A typical Saturday when I was a youngster would consist of about 10 percent indoor and 90 percent outdoor activity. It didn’t seem to matter how early I got up, there were already several other kids outside immersed in the games of the hour; Red Rover, Red Light – Green Light, Hide and Seek, or just plain old tag. These days were filled with as much drama as Jersey Shore – bike accidents, kick balls to the face, arguments over whose turn it was and at least one sibling rivalry brouhaha.
Things are different today. There are new interests to capture the attention and minds of not just children, but people of all ages. Technology knows no boundaries and reaches out to all, regardless of gender, nationality or religious affiliation. A prime example of this was when my husband and I traveled to the Brazilian Amazon three years ago. We came upon a village on the river that looked like it came right out of my seventh grade social studies text. People were dressed in dirty, torn clothing, emaciated dogs roamed the streets searching for anything edible, and wide-eyed children played shoeless soccer with a makeshift ball – a plastic bag stuffed with old newspapers. However, upon closer examination, something seemed odd … out of place. Oh yes – maybe it was the satellite dish that adorned almost every rooftop in the village!
Please do not misconstrue this observation as criticism – I am as guilty as anyone else. Oh, I resisted at first. VCRs were just toys for those who had more money than they knew what to do with, and who needed a microwave? Was that how lazy we had become? And why on earth would anyone – ANYONE – need a computer in their house?
But as time went on, I acquiesced like everyone else. Today, if I have to go one day without internet I feel isolated, forlorn. I carry my cell phone like people from the 60s carried cigarettes. DVR is my best friend and Heaven forbid I should have to get up to change the channel! CNN.com is where I get my news, and Facebook is my preferred way of keeping in touch.
Technology has allowed us all to accomplish more each day and as a result, get more out of life. Thank goodness for light therapy and computerized exercise equipment!