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Chloe Spencer

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Put Down Your iPhone -- Urgent Message

Posted: 05/16/11 10:53 AM ET

As technology advances every year, electronics have taken over today's generation. Some call our generation "The Technology Generation." Everyone has an iPhone or a blackberry or an Android, a laptop, an iPod -- an iPad! What's really the use of an iPad?! Electronics have become accessories instead of necessities. And now you can get hundreds of accessories for your electronic accessories! Six-year-old kids are getting cell phones for their birthday and starting early on the "texting craze," downloading games and spending time indoors on their phones instead of outside playing. Human interaction has drastically changed. It's the Myspace and Facebook era, where teens and pre-teens lead a huge percent of their social lives on the internet.

But, also because of this age of technology and electronics, more kids today than ever before are becoming young entrepreneurs, programmers, online writers, website designers, etc. I started my first online company at 14 years old by creating a website on the online virtual-pet site "Neopets" and monetizing it with Google Adsense. My parents at that age were probably doing paper routes, or were in boy or girl scouts, or watching old cartoons on their tiny family televisions! Not that any of those things were bad things, at all, because along with the advancement of technology today has come the pressure to grow up faster and start acting like an adult at an early age. Young kids using cellphones and laptops, for boys, playing violent video games and watching movies about degrading women, for girls, dressing provocatively and wearing makeup. Music playing on the radio about adult topics with crude lyrics; same goes for TV shows, movies, magazines, video games, billboards -- It's inescapable!

I guess what I'm trying to get across primarily is to be aware of all these influences on your kids, little sisters or brothers, nieces or nephews. And help promote a healthy, happy and lengthy childhood for the youth of today. Kids these days don't understand how quickly that beautiful innocence and care-free life full of imagination, wonder and play goes by, because they are trying to grow up as fast as they can, heavily influenced by the media. Seven year olds don't need an iPad, and 11 year olds don't need a Facebook. Playing outside, playing games with your family, helping mom or dad bake in the kitchen -- these are the activities young kids should be enjoying more.

Notice your kid shutting you out with their earphones on the way to school, or ignoring you while texting on their phone constantly, or not coming to dinner because they are too busy on Facebook? Don't worry, tons of families all over the world, especially in the U.S, are experiencing these behaviors too. Heck, my family experienced this with me when I was younger, and are still with my younger sisters right now! It's not because you are a bad parent or guardian, it's because electronics have taken over a huge percentage of our lives. Us adults too! Stuck in our phones, eyes glued to our computer screens for hours at a time. Maybe we are perhaps not finding enough time for our kids too... And I mean real quality time, like playing a board game or going outside and playing baseball. Watching a movie together isn't quality time, you're just zoning out and intently watching a screen for two hours.

I think this is a wake up call, to everybody, that we are losing a lot of normal human interaction, and because everyone does it and we do it all the time, it becomes routine. We forget, that going to see somebody is more heartfelt than a text, or that a real game with your kid is more bonding than watching Spongebob, or that a loving kiss with your partner is more affectionate than a "poke" on Facebook. This is the Marimba ringtone on your iPhone waking you back up to reality. This is the Facebook chat message alert telling you to put down your electronic devices and start giving your loved ones more of your undivided attention. This is the SMS Tri-tone going off saying:

"You only live once, and there's no telling when your life will end.
One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching."

 

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