Thursday, September 3, 2009
I can still remember the way the cool, green grass tickled my toes as I frolicked in the backyard of my childhood home, the majesty of the enormous castle I created using the pile of cardboard boxes my mom set on the driveway, the feel of the rough bark on my boney 8-year-old backside as I had a picnic on the biggest branch of our cottonwood tree.
However, it seems a childhood like that is becoming less common. Characters on the Wii have replaced the camaraderie amongst neighborhood friends. Interactive games on the Internet have taken the place of classic board games, or a simple deck of cards. Rather than defend blanket forts from invisible aliens, children battle enemies on Halo 3 instead.
The simplicity of being a kid has been drastically altered into something significantly more complex. I believe the constant immersion in such a materialistic society has a negative effect on developing minds; kids don't need their imaginations anymore because technology imagines for them.
While I do think society's addiction is often overwhelmingly negative, I'll be the first to admit many of the technological advances made over the years are undoubtedly positive, and to be honest, I would probably be lost without immediate access to information, people and entertainment. But at the same time, I have a hard time agreeing with the replacement that has taken place. Kids may develop faster due to said technology, but they lose something along the way.
So I think it's time to begin the process of preserving the sanctity of imagination.
Try to make a trip back to a time before the noise of video games, the movies, the music.
Remember what it was like to live without the constant peal of your ring tone, without the practically magnetic pull of the Internet, without the continuous act of multitasking.
Remove your shoes on the way to class and march through the grass. Strategize about the best way to climb up one of the trees on campus. Consider what materials you might use to build a fort in your dorm room.
Bring back the innocence, and the simplicity, of childhood. For a few moments, be a kid again.