Technology's Crime Against Imagination

By: Kaitlyn

I have a love/hate relationship with technology.

I have a love/hate relationship with video games. I love video games. I think that they’re an amazing art form and a great platform for storytelling (but I’ll talk more about that in a post coming up). But recently I’ve seen the negative effect of too much technology in kids. And that’s the key: too much. There’s no moderation of it.

Back in the good ol’ days (yes, I feel like I can say that because times have drastically changed in the past 15-20 years),  technology didn’t rule over our lives. It was there and present in childhood, but it didn’t overtake it. I don’t know if this was the same for everyone, but even into my teens, I was allotted a half an hour of video games and an hour of television a day (which always included Zoboomafoo and Bill Nye the Science Guy). Then for the rest of the day, my brothers and I would read, create things, and do something that seems like a foreign concept these days: PLAY OUTSIDE!

Childhood is a really amazing time where your imagination is free and you can literally do whatever you want. Want to be a magical unicorn saving the land from the evil groundhogs of Zanchatan? You can totally do that with some sticks and a little imagination. Just think about how boundless your childhood adventures were. It was something you will never experience again. It was awesome.

Nowadays, I’m afraid that the only adventures that kids are having are with Mario. Not that there’s anything wrong with Mario, but like I said earlier, there needs to be moderation. Playing video games and watching T.V. is sometimes all that kids do. All kids want to do all day is play on their D.S.’s. They’re transfixed.

When we’ve been outside for no more than two minutes, kids will come up to me and say, “I’m bored. Can I get my DS?” And it breaks my heart.

Nature is a wonderful thing and a great platform for made-up worlds and adventures. No matter how hard I try to show kids this, they just don’t seem to get it. They don’t know how to play pretend. They don’t know how to just go off and play in a make-believe place. They don’t know how to tap into their own imagination.

I don’t want to generalize. Certainly not all kids are like this. There are kids I’ve worked with who run around on dragons and dinosaurs and save the world from aliens together. It’s awesome to see children’s imagination at work and oftentimes I’m admittedly jealous of their ability to really play in an imaginary world. However, I’ve also noticed that these kids that do this don’t have technology or video games. Is this just a coincidence?

This is a serious issue; it really is.

Video games and technology are amazing, lovely and educational—when used correctly. But it seems that kids are glued to electronic devices. They live inside technology. They need to get out. They need to go play outside and rediscover their own imagination—not the imagination of someone else.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="792"] photo from Nagano Toyokazu.[/caption]

Oh, hello!

Oh, hello!
We're Sarah and Kaitlyn, roommates from Milwaukee who started this blog to promote creativity and life.
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