Did I mention that Channing and I went to a concert on Sunday? The Band Perry? Must have slipped my mind. I’m not busy or anything. Did you sense the sarcasm? Probably not since we’re all sucked into our computers. Normal human emotion will be nonexistent in 30 years. Maybe less, but who’s counting down the days?
It almost makes me worry about starting a family with the speed of the growing digital age. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to be a mother. I’m slowly accepting the fact that maybe I need to live a little more and dive into a greater chunk of life experiences before finally settling down and popping out some sweet babies but don’t you ever think about it?
When I was 12, I had a crush or two. We’d giggle and gawk over the boys in the halls. We’d act as immature as ever and still make snow forts during recess. Hell, we still had recess. Now, the couple 12 year olds that I’ve come across are glued to their phones just like us 20-somethings. Do they even have recess anymore? Do they know what Double-Dutch is?
I had my first boyfriend when I was in 8th grade and go figure that only lasted a month. It wasn’t even a comfortable relationship. Even at that age, I knew it didn’t feel right and I wasn’t “old” enough. Let the kids grow up and stop throwing around the word love so much. Where did this nonchalant dating thing come from? I bet it was Snapchat.
But how can we slow down kids acting older than they are? If we’re truly being honest with ourselves; a kid without a phone these days would be an outcast. It wouldn’t be the equivalent of me getting the four stripped sneakers from Pamida instead of the Adidas that were in style. It would be catastrophic. “No phone? But I’m 12, you can’t do that!” I can just hear it now. Poor parents.
It doesn’t even begin there. We went to Olive Garden for dinner tonight and a little girl – she couldn’t have been anymore than a year and a half – was sitting in her high chair holding, who I’m assuming is her father, his smartphone watching some cartoon. Really, guy? Really? Before you jump off the deep end, trust me, I’ll probably be that same guy I’m complaining about when we finally get ready to have babies but it’s just crazy to think that kids are so much “older” at the same age that we think they should be.
The biggest benefit in this is hoping on the future that the introduction to all these gadgets and advancement at an early age will increase brain activity and produce a more intelligent generation but what else will it bring? Social disfunction? Of course it will. Being a 20-something now, I’ve already been exposed to the digital age at the slow pace from about age 11 to present time but that was one thing after another, we had time to balance real life with the outside world floating in thin air. Now it’s right there, it’s the first thing parents jump to to keep the kids quiet. It’s the first thing dad shoves in your face when you’re being noisy at supper. It’s the first bribe your given when you won’t clean your room.
Is there really a right way to do it anymore? Who knows. I could only hope that we as a generation don’t forget to teach our open hearted children to be kids. Teach them to live and to explore. Teach them to communicate not just to talk. Teach them to grow. Good luck, we’ll need it.