AWRIGHT DEN: 1980s babies rule
One morning during the summer vacation, I entered a familiar neighbourhood just before 8 a.m. and not a single child was playing in the streets. When I entered the home I was going to, children were watching cartoons on DVDs and playing electronic games.
I have no problem with technology but I believe that certain areas of our children’s development are being hindered by the inappropriate and unregulated use of electronic devices, specifically television, video games and the computer.
Technology is great, but children should never be given unlimited access to it. I encourage my students’ parents to purchase video games for their children as they help develop their analytical and problem solving skills but timelines, rules and structures should be instituted for the use of these devises.
Children should be encouraged to play outside. When I was a child, each vacation the guys in the neighbourhood would meet from as early as 7 a.m. and would play until 7 p.m. We would play football, cricket, “catcher”, hide and seek, road tennis, monopoly, dominoes, pitch; we would race our bicycles, climb trees, pick our neighbours’ fruits without permission, catch birds, and the list goes on.
We seldom went home for lunch because we feared our grandparents would not allow us to come back outside. So the fruits that were in season became our lunch, break and sometimes dinner.
As a result we had easy and frequent bowel movements, we were generally fit but most of all we learnt what relationships were all about. Of course, there were many fights, but we were always able to resolve them and as we got older the fights became fewer.
The world has changed and with the introduction of technology our lives will change. We need to find a way to marry the old ways of learning and development with the new ones.
I am what some refer to as an 80s baby and I believe my generation is the greatest as we had a taste of life before and during technology boom. Below is an excerpt I saw on Facebook that I modified. Hope you enjoy it.
I was born in the 80s. We were the first generation to play video games, the last generation who played in the streets and the last to record songs off the radio on cassettes.
We are the pioneers of walkmans, discmans, chat rooms, the Atari, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, the Game Boy, Xbox, Play Station, cellphones, and the Internet. We were the first to master Duck Hunt, Zelda, Mario Bros 1,2 and 3, Mario Go Kart, Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, Street Fighter, Tekken, Pac Man, Metal Gear, and others.
We are the generation of the Thunder Cats, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Silver Hawks, Gumby, Highwayman, Manimal, Saved By The Bell, In Living Colour, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Police Academy, Punky Brewster, Care Bears, Conan, Captain Planet, Family Matters, Fraggle Rock, Allo Allo, and Dragon Ball Z.
We travelled in cars without seatbelts or airbags and lived without cordless phones, laptops, printers or scanners. We did not have 99 television stations, flat screens, surround sound, 3D, Blue Ray, mp3s, or iPods, but nevertheless we had a great time.
We were the last generation that understood the consequences that followed if you didn’t say “Good morning”, “Excuse me”, “Yes, please”, “Thank you” or “You’re welcome”. We were the last generation who knew Sunday school was compulsory.
Oh, and we were the last generation to walk under a fruit tree and pick up a fruit off the ground and eat it without washing it first.