Being born in 1994, I grew up in a generation where technology was not so abundant (talking in terms of phones, tablets, computers, etc.). And technology was certainly not the only way to have fun. When I was a kid, you played with your siblings and friends, went outside, played board games and used your imagination to take you places you had never been.
Nowadays, I will see kids sitting right by each other, but instead of interacting with each other, their attention is focused on a piece of technology, trying to get the high score on some irrelevant mobile game. And I will see this type of behavior in kids who are only five years old.
Now I am not claiming that I never ignored others to play video games when I was younger, for I did, but I would definitely say that playing video games is not what I would fondly recall about my childhood.
What I recall about my childhood are the days I lived out in the country, where I was always outside with my three older brothers. While in the country, our imagination was limitless. One day we would be making makeshift seesaws out of cinder blocks and plywood, and the next day we would be running through corn fields, reenacting the velociraptor scene in Jurassic Park 2, with my older brother playing the role of the velociraptor.
Those are memories that my brothers and I still talk about, and I feel like now that technology is so prominent in our society (and could be argued as being the best babysitter nowadays) kids are not going to have those kinds of memories. They will remember trying to get a bird to fit through gaps in pipes, and not times where they pushed their imagination to the limits.
What technology is doing is taking away the creativity that comes with being a kid. A kid no longer needs to use imagination, for if they want to be entertained, all they have to do is go into the appstore and download the latest game.
Of course, this behavior cannot all be blamed on kids, but could also be blamed on the parents of the child. Now arguing what makes a parent a good parent or what parenting techniques should be used while raising a child is beyond the scope of this column, but I do think that parents should use their influence as a parent, and encourage their kids to turn off the technology and go use their imagination.
Kids do not even need to go outside to use their imagination. My siblings and I could spend hours inside playing some game we made up, and have the time of our lives doing so.
I realize that not all kids will be as lucky as I was with the amount of siblings I had growing up, but that is where having friends comes into play. And one does not need to have friends to have a good time even. I could play with action figures for hours and enjoy every second of it, for my imagination was vast, and I always pushed it to be so.
Kids nowadays are losing their chance to be kids due to being glued to a screen. What kids (and parents) do not realize, is that the rest of their lives, they will almost certainly be forced to look at a screen, and that they will not have as much leeway to be imaginative anymore.
If children nowadays do not learn to put down the technology, and go be imaginative on their own, they will never get the chance to do it again. When it comes to imagination, the sky is the limited, and I think kids should be reaching for the sky.