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Is Modern Technology Polluting Modern Childhood?

Photo by Rich Ledoux/KMMS

I’m am so proud to be a child of the 80s. We had a lot of fun. We were outside with our friends at all times, during all seasons. There was no internet or cell phones to get in the way of that! Now that I am a parent, dwelling on the fact that we were the last generation without such technological distractions also makes me a bit sad.

My childhood was simply awesome. I have so many fond memories, all of which were connected with the outdoors. I’ll never forget the summer camps that taught me how to swim, kayak, how to build a fire, how to survive and navigate in the woods, and so much more.

I’ll never forget the endless backyard football games. There was one game in particular that ended abruptly and required me to push myself home on my skateboard alone (for what seemed like miles) with a broken ankle because my friends didn’t want to leave the game (they couldn’t even comprehend why I had chosen to). The look on their faces when they first laid eyes on my knee-high cast afterwards said it all…they just didn’t think I was actually hurt. Their heartfelt messages on that cast was all the social media I ever needed.

Nintendo came out around this time and I remember my first friend who got one. Sure it was cool and we eventually all got one but it couldn’t keep us indoors. Nintendo playing was quickly reserved for rainy days and evenings. It was all about BMX parks, homemade skateboard pipes, playing games in the woods, pretending we were ninjas (to be fair, Nintento was probably a lot safer than Chinese stars), going to the beach in the summer, football, wiffle ball, and many other invented outdoor games. There were no cell phones. My cell phone was the street lights, when they came on I needed to head home.

It’s going to be tricky to try to convey all this to my daughter when she gets older (without sounding like an outdated, foolish old man). I remember the old-timers who told me they used to walk 19 miles to and from school without any money to use the pay phone (and how I took that). I guess I’ll just limit the technology and promote the outdoors as much as possible. It’s just a shame that we can never go back. Here’s to the last generation of those who were blessed with a pure childhood!

 

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