Since the Industrial Revolution, there has been a gradual societal withdrawal, a progressive isolation and alienation, from the natural world. The decline of family-run farms and urban migration have significantly decreased peoples encounters with nature. Time to enjoy the natural world has progressively been usurped by the need for multiple jobs, longer working hours, and lengthy commutes on crowded interstates. Until recently, childhood had been sheltered from these time constraints of adulthood and separation from nature. But, no more.
Childhood used to be a time to delight in the outdoors, a time of wild explorations and flights of imagination, but more and more in the 21st century children have retreated from outside play. Extra time not devoted to organized sports and homework is being squandered in the electronic glare of televisions, computer monitors, cell phones, mp3 players, video games, and social media sites. Although technology has undoubtedly benefitted society and our children as well, is something being irreversibly altered by our cultures avid dependence upon it? Will today’s youth be irretrievably engulfed by the pervasive availability of the digital airwaves? Is it too late to reintroduce our children to the wonders of the outdoors and their imaginations? Technology is here to stay, but our children’s time of innocence, playfulness and freedom is all too brief.
Help them disconnect.
~ Matthew J Connors