I have not seen the movie AVATAR in 3-D, but a thought suddenly occured to me: How would a child from some remote African village, one who has never seen a movie react to wearing special glasses and watching AVATAR in 3-D? Would they think the characters were real? Would they run out of the movie theatre screaming? Or would they simply get hooked like most teenagers since the movie surpassed the $1 billion mark.
What are your thoughts on that?
My father lived in Nigeria for over seventeen years and mentioned his visit to a remote African village where the kids had never seen a white man. A mother picked up her three-year-old son who thought my father was a ghost and actually peed on his mom’s skirt from fright. Flash forward to the developed world, with all of our electronic devices and gizmos, i-phones, the new Nexus-One phone, Kindles and the i-Slate, a combination of a Kindle and a laptop (so I was told), and all the computer simulation games, especially war games. This has to impact our kids today and in the future. What are human relationships going to be like in 50, 100, 200 years from now?
One example, which stunned me, was a young couple in their twenties sitting so close together on an ottoman made for one; they looked like Siamese twins. I watched them at the shoe store while my son Jordan, tried on three pairs of shoes. Both husband and wife, yes they wore wedding rings, were involved in a texting relationship with their i-phones, rather than a conversation. I kept wondering: Are they texting one another instead of speaking? Is this what we call communicating today? How will couples relate when they get older? Perhaps this is a good thing for a relationship; at least they won’t be demanding of each other–timewise.
I’m not a huge fan of science fiction movies, but my husband is, so I watch them once in a while. Somehow I justify all this dependence on electronics rather than on real live people, to be necessary to live in the future. I think young kids are so involved with computer games and electronics because that’s the future way to relate to others.
I want to give credit to Marla Jo Fisher from the OC Register newspaper, for her article on Video Games Were Invented by the Devil, this sparked my interest in writing my post today.
Thought-provoking! We are indeed too dependent on cyber relationships and electronic gadgets… this is not entirely negative though, and our future generations will, I'm sure, reap the rewards. I do not believe that they will ever accept this as a substitute to real live people though.
Would an African kid run away screaming – thinking it was all real? Yes – definitely!
One of my friends in England with four kids didn't have TV and I took their 10-yr-old to see Peter Pan at the theatre. She was so scared she vomited!
Daisy Soap Girl says
It's true. These are the days of electronic gadgets and I wonder about our future. When calculators came out (eons ago) I was upset because children wouldn't have to remember their time table like I did. I rationed that they wouldn't be able to think for themselves.
For years I had put all my friends/relatives contact info in my Palm Pilot and last year, just as I was used to the idea, it crashed. Luckily I hadn't discarded my address book and could recover some of the info. At this point I am still not completely comfortable using my Blackberry to store all my important info without using a handwriitten backup system. This is what we call progress.
My kids roll their eyes when I say this but I think we have created a monster and are headed for trouble. I think social skills are terrible now and getting worse thanks to this.
Elizabeth Bradley says
The Husband just got an i-phone last night. I have an Envy and I text my brains out on a regular basis. Why? Because if I want to communicate with our grown children, (and several of my friends) this is the way people communicate with each other these days. So, The Husband's on the bandwagon now, he's texting his heart out. The kids are thrilled.
The Husband travels around the globe and is part of a team that puts computers into the hands of children just like the children you've pictured. They travel to Africa, South American, India, Romania, and life for people in third world countries is vastly improving because of technology. Did you know that they've gone straight from having no telephones at all to owning and using cell phones? Connecting up to the world and moving right into the electronic age at a rapid pace.
Here, on the home front in America, it's another story, we struggle to keep our kids from playing video games 24/7.
I recently saw a TV report on a boy that won an award for being the top Guitar Hero player of all time. He had logged in over 1,000,000 hours on the thing! (That's alot of zeros.) Excited, his Mom bought him a "real guitar" (I was shocked to learn that Guitar Hero has nothing but nothing to do with teaching how to play an actual guitar) and he put the instrument down after a short attempt at strumming, claiming, "That's too hard to play!"
Some upscale restaurants are banning the use of cell phones, no wonder, I am sick of tired of listening to people holler into their phones while I'm trying to eat and converse with whomever I'm with. Why must they holler?
You're right, I see people sitting together and they don't utter a word to each other, they're too busy texting somebody somewhere else.
Are we that bored? Talk about ADD! Technology just IS: it's not good or bad, it's how we choose to use it that decides if we are putting it to good use. Oh Gee, I have gone on long enough. (Maybe too much coffee?)
I think every generation has had something new that they thought was ruining their kids. I hope that, despite some evidence to the contrary, this generation will, on the whole, like previous generations find a positive path.
I think that technology brings us closer together. It creates cyber bridges so we can stay connected even when we are apart.
On a lighter note, my son was playing a card game in partners and he texted his partner all through the game. It was a joke, but they won. No one even noticed they were texting each other, we have become so accustomed.
Rayna M. Iyer says
Totally agree with you. The other day, I saw a couple walking down the street – one arm around the other's waist/ shoulder, the other holding a phone to their ear.
I mean, why?
Can't people just do one thing at a time, and enjoy it?
Ballerina Girl says
Ok, such a good thought provoking post. I have two younger aged children that are heavily involoved in these products, though not fans of sci-fi movies: too scary for them!
Now, living outside the US also gives us a different perspective in two ways:
1. We do not get the influx of commercials so our kids are happy with what they get when we are in the US…not I need this newest game now attitude!
2. The kids my kids go to school with are usually not money hungry, actually they are usually the richest of the local country, so they almost feel like they are the ones who have to wait for what they hear or see that is new. This is a good thing, they learn some value of what something is worth!
That said, I think back to generations before us that asked this same question. What are they going to do with a telephone that you can hold in your hand? Even back to, color in a tv set?
So, we all seem to adjust to the current situation, or not, and live in what world we are comfortable with. My parents don't really live on their computer like I do. And I seem to be just fine.
I do not feel we can predict what life will be like for our kids any more than what our parents certainly never thought of for us…being able to have this "conversation" like we are 😉
I try not to worry too much, try to still teach the same moral and social values that are timeless for mankind…and hope that I can adapt to however they will be calling me in the future: maybe from outerspace!
Yep, this Ozarks farm chick has witnessed date nights with couples who talk and text to OTHER people instead of communicating with each other.
Your story reminded me of the time we took our Special Ed class to the IMAX in Branson. Many had never been to any theater before. One little mop~headed fella opened the doors and stood frozen in amazement with eyes bulging and said, " woooooaaaahhh, that's the biggest thing I never did see," as he stared at the massive screen.
As we say down here in the hills and hollers, "ya'll have a wonderfully blessed day!!!"
Lauri Kubuitsile says
In Botswana where I live almost all of the kids have cellphones.
I hate people who talk on the phone when we're together. I think it's rude unless it's an emergency.
But as an isolated writer in a small village, I'd be dead without my internet writing friends.
Robert the Skeptic says
Science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke once said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Bring a cell phone into the Amazon jungle and show it to the people living there. They would think it magic.
My 4 y/o grandson has his own i-Phone (sans telephone service) on which he plays games. He explains to grandpa in his limited vocabulary what he is doing… but I have no clue. My father-in-law has no idea even how to use a cell phone.
The rise in technology is exponential, not linear. It is not surprising that it is difficult to keep up. It is inevitable that some of us are going to be left behind.
By the way, "Avatar" in 3-D is well worth seeing.
Marla Jo Fisher says
Oh man, I really love the comment about the boy logging 1 million hours on Guitar Hero but he couldn't play the guitar. Presto. Our society in a nutshell.
I had a sleepover party for middle school boys for my son's birthday and, since I have no video games, the boys could not think of a single thing to do, even though my house is full of traditional games and sporting equipment. They spent the whole time texting EACH OTHER, even during the movie I put on that they wanted to watch in our home theater.
"I recently saw a TV report on a boy that won an award for being the top Guitar Hero player of all time. He had logged in over 1,000,000 hours on the thing!" umm 1 million hours is over 113 years. not at all possible
Ballerina Girl said it:
"I try not to worry too much, try to still teach the same moral and social values that are timeless for mankind."
But how many parents teach like she?
Values, attitudes, behavior etc. models come at home.
But so many parents are lost! They spend more than earn. Buy unhealthy food for the kids. Money or beauty or both is everything…etc.
Children's wellbeing = boundaries with love.
Adoption Of Jane Ug-LBC says
It's sad how quickly we adapt. Great post!
I just wanted to thank you for your visit and sweet comment you left me. I'm sorry about the lingo. I write in the manner that we speak here in the Ozarks. One might call it Ozark slang. I am a retired teacher and can clean up my grammar but it is the language of the region and it's just fun to write it.
Have a great weekend and may God bless you!
Interesting to hear about the kid and Peter Pan.
@Daisy Soap Girl
So we HAVE to keep our address book as ack-up?
Did our parents say the same thing about us?
You are right about texting. That's the only way I can get a fast response from my kids. Interesting comment on the 1,000,000 hours on guitsr hero. Dalton below is right though: that's over 114 years of time.
Thanks for your perspective.
You are right. I remember my mom saying that she worried about overpopulation when I was a kid and now we worry about the future of our kids.
Yes, in a good way it does bring us closer. Just think about all of us meeting through blogging. How funny about your son and the card game.
I know. I still find it a little rude. I guess we all have to adapt.
I like your positive outlook, and yes, I'm ready for outerspace travel myself.
Love your accent. I can hear it. So you know what I mean about texting and communicating.
I can see how lucky we are to find one another on the Internet, and also the Kindle to get books.
Thanks for the Arthur C. Clarke quote, and the story about your grandson.
@Marla Jo Fisher
I agree, the texting is taking over. Let's hope they can all type real fast to keep up. They would all make great secretaries, 30 years ago.
Thanls for pointing this out. You are so right.
You are right with BG's comment, being the right way.
@Adoption Of Jane,
Maybe it's good to adapt. Thanks for your comment.
I like the Ozark lingo. I just need to understand it with practice.
Phivos Nicolaides says
Great, great post. Enjoyed it in full! Kind regards dear friend Sonia! Hugs from Cyprus.
I'm not even sure some African children would be able to see the movie. I remember from my studies in psychology (eons ago) that, because of the way some African tribes look at the world, literally, they can't see a movie — they only see a blur.
I don't text. I have a cell phone for emergencies. I write, using a computer, and share my ideas with other people that way. I'm not a Luddite; I just have different priorities.