vic johnson

Trying to retire - LOL,

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Are we depriving our children?

Are we depriving our children? I was born in 1927 and grew up during the thirties. Times were tough. Unemployment hovered over thirty percent. Needless to say there was not many store bought toys or games around. Television was still in the future. So what did the kids in the neighborhood do? We got creative. We played all the old games and made up new ones. Girls made dolls by stuffing an old sock with rags and painting on a face. Often their play dishes was a piece of bark or a coffee can lid Boys got out their jack knifes and made whistles from the small branch of an alder tree or made a slingshot from the crouched branch of a vine maple then with a pocket full of rocks we went big game hunting. We cut and smoothed a branch to make a fishing pole. We taught our dogs and cats to do trucks. We all went on hikes and we explored. The only boundary was the outer limit of our imagination. Life was good.

Then the war came. It has been said that a big reason we won was because we were so resourceful. That may or may not be but I'm sure it was a factor and I'm sure I've pointed a finger at the source of that resourcefulness. How does this relate to kids today? Both mom and dad are holding down jobs out of the house. The kids come home from school and get plunked down in front of the TV or they grab a video game or some other electronic gismo that is already programmed and while away the hours pushing buttons. Then after they tire of that there are 2 or more hours of home work. It takes a good deal of dexterity and practice to win those games but of at least the ones I've played, very little imagination.

If that old saying: "Use it or lose it." is true kids will soon lose their imagination and along with it their creativity. That will be a sad day for all.

BTW a word to you skeptics. Yes, you can teach a cat to do tricks. LOL

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    Nov 19 2011: One of the ways that I think we are short changing our kids is by over scheduling them. They go from school to tutoring to soccer to music lessons or some equalivent. They have no time for reflection or just taking a breath. They should have the time to day dream about what they just read in a comic book, or time to watch the ways the leaves of a tree obscure the sunshine or the fun of believing that they really might reach China if they make that hole that they are digging just a bit deeper.
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    Nov 19 2011: Yes
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    Nov 19 2011: OK, they are gone
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    Nov 18 2011: Yes Vic you are doing that. First erase the Disneylandization, then we can discuss about.
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      Nov 19 2011: Ok They are gone
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        Nov 19 2011: No Vic they are not gone.

        Maybe you win the material war, as you said, but US lose the cultural status in the images war.
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    Nov 18 2011: This was not meant to be a discussion about the merits of television. I think we can all agree that the crap on TV is for the birds. I was hoping to get some ideas on ways to get the creative juices flowing.
  • Nov 18 2011: I think there is truth in what you say. However, I also think things like this very conversation are already changing one significant aspect of the television viewing passive receptive experience. Today's children expect to be engaged in and to manipulate the experience. They are not whittling wood but they ARE whittling data. After playing interactive games (and there are some very good educational games on the internet - many are quite fun.) they find passively watching TV to be a little boring. They expect to experience entertainment quite differently than prior generation of TV watchers did. We cannot put the genie back into the bottle. We can however recognize the issues it raises and work on them.
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    Nov 18 2011: It's no better or worse. Just different.

    TV is no worse than the cinema or radio or books. It's another communication media.

    I don't subscribe to the idea that TV deadens imagination.
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      Nov 18 2011: I agree with that.

      But I agree with Mr Vic Johnson that kids had more social interaction in his time. TV and videogames might be the cause of such depravation, even if they can't be proven to be responsible for killing creativity.
  • Nov 18 2011: I will share with you my own experience. When i was a toddler, my father never let me watch television. In my initial schooling years i had great grades but I do vividly remember that the day i actually got hooked up to television, i lost interest in what school was trying to teach me. I used to stand for hours in front of the TV. But there were two reasons for that:

    - I was fascinated by it. Everyday i would see something new which made me even more curious.
    - I was raised by my father which meant when he was away at office i had nothing else but TV to rely on for some kind of communication. {Note: i am sure it would've been the same had I been solely brought by my mother also.}

    With today's kind of technology, we can experience new kinds of things, have new kinds of conversation everyday. True that these experience aren't as real or as tangible as it used to be before. But regardless, these are the kind of things predominantly missing in "family time."

    However I also need to remind you, 20 years down the lane, it is "through" technology {blogs, articles, conversation} i learnt how to use things in moderation whether its technology itself or something else.

    The fact is technology has become part of our lives. The real question is how should we tune "Technology" according to our social values and beliefs.