Communicating in a pre-internet world was easy and simple. We didn't misunderstand what you were saying. We felt the emotion by inflection. We used our voices, and on a very good day of play, we'd lose them.
When did kids become more afraid of boredom than they are of parents?! The concept of leaving our children outside all day without contact is not only ancient history, it's unfathomable to parents today.
Breaking out of the norm and learning to see the world as your gym is an extremely beneficial practice. Not only do you get to challenge yourself in new ways outside the gym walls, but you train your eyes and your mind to see fitness everywhere you look.
With a little nudging (okay, a lot of nudging), it is possible for parents to teach even the most technologically inclined 21st-century kids that staying active and healthy is an important part of their lives.