Home > Uncategorized > Get off the computer and go outside…

Get off the computer and go outside…

Today while on facebook I entered in to a funny conversation that got me thinking…  little did I know further content would be added to the topic as my day went on.

Here is the way it started (paraphrase)…

Friends Facebook status: “11am and my kids have already used up their computer time for the day.

My response: “are you prepared for when they hit you with the hypocrite stick and recognize that you are on the computer all day”

I find the fact that this conversation about this topic occurred between two Gen-Xers on a facebook wall especially curious. Just now, while scanning my twitter feed I was directed to this great video…

This whole conversation is an ongoing battle in our household. My wife is a big believer in getting kids off the computer / tv / digital device and outside playing… as much as I am all for exercise and fresh air, I am acutely concerned that my kids will be set back if they are not tech savvy enough to operate in the highspeed world we now chase today – afterall, I have never hired someone because they had “able to limit digital activities to accommodate interest in playing outside” on their resume.

Like most things in life I believe there is a balance… having said that, I would sit on the side of the fence that says, just because something is digital or requires a device to facilitate the activity does not make it bad… in fact, it is how our children think, it is what they already know, and while balancing their activities we MUST embrace the technology that has accompanied their generation and ensure they are equipped to create, learn, apply themselves in it.

What do you think?

  1. July 8, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Glad I could contribute.

    Depends what you mean by “computer time”. My kids do spend a fair amount of timing drawing. They’ve gotten pretty good with Google. However, most of their time is Youtube or playing lame Flash games. Pretty much the same as sitting in front of Wii/PS3/Xbox/etc. While these can develop hand/eye coordination and problem solving skills, they also contribute to childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    I would argue that my kids would be much better athletes if they spent more time at the park playing soccer, skateboarding, etc. like we did as kids.

    I’m all for healthy balance. I do think that being computer literate is a requirement for success and I would hate to be so reactionary that I robbed them of that. They sure aren’t going to learn it at school.

  2. bensmithinc
    July 8, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Good differntiation, I guess the message is that both are required and one should not supersede the other and both be encouraged.

  3. phil
    July 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    my 4.5 year old son Gabe continues to place 12th of 12 playing MarioKart on the Ninentendo Wii. should i be concerned about his future in this digital age?

    • bensmithinc
      July 9, 2010 at 1:05 am

      Lucky for Gabe he was born into a strong business network so he can be a total dirt bag with no skills and no athletic prowous and he’ll likely do just fine ;). Forgot to mention, a strong network trumps all.

  4. bensmithinc
    July 13, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Thought I would post a little update… having thought about my desire to balance the outdoors and the computer and not make them enemies, I figured the best way to do this was to start a blog for my kids where they could chronicle their outdoors adventures… Get off the computer, go outside, and then come back to the computer and tell people about your experiences… so with that, I give you http://www.unconventionalfamily.wordpress.com

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