Thursday, May 24, 2012
I am afraid this picture may seem very old fashioned in the future - how soon I don't know. Perhaps it has already become rare in many homes - reading books, books with paper pages.
I know there are many benefits to the kindles and yes, if one is reading a book on a kindle or other screen, isn't that really the same?
It isn't so much reading a book on a screen that bothers me, it is how screens seem to be so pervasive in the lives of children and especially young children in our country.
Yesterday I was listening to NPR's program, On Point. The discussion was about children playing games on their parents phones, ipads, blackberries. I love the term the guest on the program used for these - "shut-up boxes". Now we are not allowed to say shut-up in our home, but what a most perfect name. Shouldn't children learn to sit quietly at times? Be bored? Play outside more? Dare I say, read a book??
We have no idea what the long term effects are going to be on today's children. There is very little research being done, but one study did suggest that short term memory loss in children is one problem. But using common sense, it would seem likely that children's creativity, attention spans, and social skills will all suffer.
It just seems so odd to me how children are allowed to keep their own screens in their own rooms or in their own pockets at such young ages when they really don't have the maturity yet to know what is best for them - to make the best choices about how to spend their time. Have some parents become so self-centered that they prefer to give their children shut-up boxes instead of the gift of their time?