As an externality of an increased standard of living, children spend fewer hours with the family. The television, once a shared activity centered upon the household set in the living room, has become a solo act, relegated to the bedroom. More fortunate children, when the thrill of television programming has been quelled, now have personal computers, and gaming systems at their immediate disposal, without having the need to changes rooms.
Cellular phones and this new “age of the text message” keep people; especially children, more adept at assimilating the changing winds of technology, “connected”, more so than at any time in the history of human civilization. Before the I-Pod and wireless connectivity, man, woman, and child were resigned to being within earshot of a radio or television. Phones were sought out, if one needed to place a call from outside of the home. Knowledge was learned from the pages of books or from parenting and educational instruction.
This learning method forced absorption, with no flash drives to enable a bookmarked link following quick scan of a Wikipedia entry at any random Wi-Fi hotspot. Computers were connected to walls, and its only use for the young student was as an easier alternative to the typewriter. Before these technological innovations, many hours of the day were spent on other activities; Play, reading, studying, and even chores. A walk at one point in time was only just a walk, without an accompanying soundtrack.
These new items occupy the “down time” in most peoples’ lives; an area once reserved for conscious thought and introspection, curiosity and imagination. While they sometimes serve to benefit intellectual interests, more often than not, they commandeer this time; decreasing attention spans and swallowing one up in a consumer lifestyle that demands new and exciting toys to replace the predecessors that have fallen out of style and appeal.
Image & Counter POV: Get Yourself Connected