Children Unplugged

unplugged

Where has childhood gone?

There was a time not so long ago that socializing had nothing to do with the internet. In fact there was no internet, well, at least not in the format it is now. It was a time where if you needed a status update you got on your bicycle and found where your friends were.

It was a time when playing video games meant standing side by side on one television. A time when you had to call and talk to someone on a telephone, because texting hadn’t been invented yet.

We lived through an era technological ignorance.

And yet we survived.

The New Social Norm

Social norm

Lost in the web of useless knowledge

The web has become a quagmire of endless information. A black hole that once it gets a hold of you will not let go. It is a thief, a thief of time and a thief of attention. It present the aura of endless knowledge, teaching the ignorance of never truly learning anything.

Social media has become a facade of social interaction and meaningless likes that present themselves as real life. An online barrier that protects from any physical harm and also any physical connection. It creates an environment where people feel free to attack each other without real consequences or remorse.

The social media parable

I was at the dog park with my 6 month old dog. The dog park was very busy at this time of the day. There is an area for both big dogs and little dogs separated by a chain link fence through the middle of the park. We went through the gate into the park and we went through our routine. I have taught the dog to sit before I unleash him into the wilds of the dog park.

As I was walking around letting my dog run free, I noticed a habit with dogs that reminded me of social media.

At the fence there always dogs gathered on both sides. They run back and forth and bark savagely at each other. This goes on for some time until only one dog is left in that side of the dog park. So the dogs owner grabs his dog and brings him to our side. Once the dog was on our side of the fence, there was no longer any problems.

Once the barrier was removed and the dogs were forced to be together, they got along great and played together.

unplugged

Is there something to be learned?

Internet and social media have become so pervasive that our children can not imagine surviving without WiFi.

As a parent we need to be the ones to remove the fence.

We need to be the force that moves our children from the virtual world into the real world.

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