Whilst day dreaming the other day I began to wonder… what will I do in my spare time when I’m older?
As you grow older there seems to be more rules as to what is acceptable to do as, after all, you’re mature now.
Is there an age limit on how long it is acceptable to play The Sims 2 in your spare time? Is it acceptable that I still play The Sims 2 from time to time at the age of 21?
My mum has always been a keen reader; when she’s actually had time to settle down without keeping an eye on each of her four children. My dad has never really been one to sit down and chill but when he does he’ll watch motorbike races and there’s always been a motor magazine on the coffee table reaching back 5 years previous.
Now, to me, they seem like normal casual things that adults do in their spare time when they’re not out socialising or carrying out their daily obligations, such as work and running around after the kids. They will drink several cups of tea a day, they will chat with each other and generally enjoy their ‘winding down’ time.
But here is where I worry…
I worry about our younger generation’s dependence on technology to keep us entertained. I, for one, think it is acceptable to be on Facebook and browsing YouTube for funny cat videos at my age, but I most certainly do not want to be doing that when I am a ‘mature adult’. If we continue to rely on our laptops and iPhones to keep us entertained on an evening into adulthood then what hopes do our future generations have of having a normal childhood?
We didn’t have a computer in our house until I was in high school and we had a 1 hour curfew on how long we could be on it per day. I didn’t get a mobile phone until I was 11 years old, when I started to go out with my friends, so it was for safety purposes. I played with ‘Barbie’s’ for the majority of my primary years and would play outside in the garden, either by myself or with siblings or friends, living in a dream world, exercising my imagination. I would read magazines and then cut them up and paste together my own called ‘Mini Mags’ – I made quite an impressive collection! I used to write my own stories, illustrate them myself and staple them together to share with other people. Exercising your creativity is so important as a child and I’m worried that with so many young children spending their younger years tapping on iPads and spending more time in the online world than the real social world, that the next generation are going to eventually turn into lifeless robots.
If I have children when I’m older I am going to do my best to ensure that they have as fulfilling a childhood as possible, similar to my own. They certainly won’t be getting Apple products for Christmas and as a result they will hopefully develop as intelligent, creative, social people. I will put down my laptop and join them in creating pictures that will go on the fridge, I will watch Disney films with them and then dance around the house singing the songs, I will run around the garden with them and kick a ball around. Family time will not be spent with all of us sat on our individual devices, clicking away without saying a word to each other.
Don’t get me wrong, the internet will obviously be used; it is such a big part of civilisation now. I just want to try do my best to keep it from the younger generation as long as possible as it is an all-consuming and addictive entity. Let children keep their childhood as long as possible, otherwise if technology crumbles and it all disappears one day, what will we do when we have come to rely on it so much?
Until then, reading books and motorbike magazines can wait. Leave me and The Sims 2 in peace…