As we were reviewing first-grade spelling words, all of them based on the “u” sound, my granddaughter Mikayla looked at me in all innocence and proclaimed “Mute doesn’t mean you can’t speak. It’s the button you push on the remote.”
I solemnly swear to you that this is not a child who spends countless hours in front of the TV. This is a child who is frequently outdoors and active. She is just a victim of her techno-age.
Ten short years ago, I was also teaching 8th grade. Those kids were, in many cases, the college class of 2010.
They did not have iPods and iPads.
They did not usually have cell phones. Cell phones were a sure sign he child was expecting an urgent emergency call.
They did not Facebook or otherwise enter the fledgling social networking world.
I don’t suppose I have a bone to pick with technology. I use it every day. But I wonder where it is leading us.
The other day, during study hall, two of my very brightest students accessed the strategy board games I keep in my cupboard. These are games I have had since I was a child. They wound up playing Othello because they lacked the patience to work out the rules for Tank Trap or Dogfight.
This is not a criticism, it is a sign of the times.
Going back even further, we grew up in a time when children did not expect a climate controlled life, and I am not sure this bodes well for the future, either.
Granted I did not grow up in the arid heat of New Mexico. However, western Pennsylvania humidity can be equally uncomfortable, and if we had refused to go outside because it threatened to rain, we would have been indoors a great deal of the time.
If we had considered 30 degrees too cold to be outdoors, we would have been trapped for the winter.
TV was, admittedly, not as appealing as today’s options. It was a small black and white box, with a choice of three channels and public television.
I don’t decry the techno world that we live in. I just wonder where it will take us.