Friday, October 24, 2008

Kids these days . . .

By Lonnie Cruse

There is nothing quite so funny as watching a young child "dribble" a bowling ball down the bowling alley. Who knew bowling balls could bounce that high? But my grandson is learning to bowl--at least one hopes he is learning--and I have high hopes for him, given that he beat his older brother by three points during our most recent bowling adventure. Of course, the gutter rails kept him out of a lot of trouble.

Children are so different today. Different from when my boys were small and VERY different from when I was small. They don't spend nearly as much time as my generation did playing outside, using sticks for guns, discarded Christmas trees for castles, or playing board games on the neighbor's porch on a scorching summer day. A lot of time today is spent inside playing video games, chatting on or texting on cell phones, listening to MP3 players, surfing the net. In other words, kids today have (and often carry everywhere with them) all the latest technology.

Some of this technology is great, allowing parents to "keep an eye" on kids even when they are miles from home (tracking by cell phone, who knew?) Other technology is likely to leave us with an entire generation gone deaf by the ripe old age of twenty-one.

So how about you? How much new technology have you purchased and struggled to learn to use since this decade began? I confess, I love a cell phone, so easy to make calls from anywhere and/or reach someone else in an emergency . . . even if that someone has gone fishing.

I gave up on using a PDA because the battery wouldn't hold a charge for very long and it seemed to take much longer to note a date in my calendar there than to quickly jot it down in the paper one.

MP3s? I've got two, one for library audio books, one for the audio books I buy. I adore audio books.

Laptop? Yes. Internet? Of course. Where else could I research so quickly various ways to kill off my characters? Chat with other authors about the how-to of writing and with other readers about books I love or hate? Order hard to find items.

And how many children did you have to consult with in order to learn how to operate all of your new technology? Personally I've lost count.

But technology aside, in my humble opinion kids do need to spend more time outside. Or adventuring with a parent or grandparent. Time hiking in the woods or baiting a fishing hook or bouncing a bowling ball or visiting a museum. Have you adventured your kids lately?

Side note: I'll be away for a couple of Fridays this month, so if you post a comment, bless you and please don't be offended if I don't respond. Feel free to carry on without me.

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