Is Technology Killing Our Kids?

Father and Son at Sunset

Is technology killing our kids?  Absolutely.  We are raising the first generation to have a lower life-expectancy than their parents.  Yes, I said lower, as in they’re expected to die at a younger age.  With the advances in technology coming by leaps and bounds, very few people live in “real” time anymore.    When’s the last time you watched the sun set?  I mean actually watched it, live, with your own two eyes as it was taking place.  If you can’t remember, you’re helping to prove my point.


The PBS documentary Outdoor Recreation in Decline featured a round-table discussion with representatives of each generation.  The attitudes of nature and technology were predictably present, but what was interesting were the deeper discussions about how and why.  The population is moving to a gotta-have-it-now, no delayed gratification, fast forward world; perceivably the link to the huge increase in attention deficit diagnosis.

Ron, Fritz, and Fish

When my generation was growing up, a grand holiday to someplace like Disney was something for which parents saved and planned for years.    The annual family vacations often included camping or trips to cabins.  We played outside, learned about nature, hunted and fished.  We looked up at the stars and used our imagination.  In a big city, kids might not even see the stars, and gaming has replaced dreaming.  Instead of “what if”, many people live in a world of “what’s next”; and that is unfortunate.

Room with a View

I’m not advocating for a complete abandonment of structured activities or technology, but maybe we can incorporate some free time.  Today’s youth don’t understand quiet time.  One of the best things about camping is waking up to see the lake out my window.  It’s peaceful and quiet, soothing for the soul.  If our children are constantly being shuttled from one practice to the next, how do they learn what it’s like to really unplug and recharge their batteries?

Steaks on the Grill IP

We are raising a generation who spend the majority of their time sitting in front of a screen.  Some may learn about nature online, but for those who learn by doing, they will never have an appreciation of the natural world.  They work on computers at school, go home to play electronic games, and grow up to rely on phones and tablets.  They are less active and more sedentary; therefore fighting weight and health battles throughout their lives.  What is the antidote?  Power down the electronics and get moving.  Take baby steps like rent a canoe for a day, camp for a weekend, cook a meal outside.  Your kids’ lives depend on it.

Island Trees IP


3 responses to this post.

  1. Great post. In our observation, it’s a parenting problem. Parents model and permit screen addiction. The antidote is to get out and DO things with kids while setting sensible boundaries for gaming and the rest of it at home. And for heaven’s sake, if you’re sitting around a table at a restaurant, put the devices away and find something to Talk about!


  2. […] « Is Technology Killing Our Kids? […]


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