Wilson Post Blogs
By BECKY ANDREWS
Wilson Living Magazine
There seems to be an epidemic going around. It’s an epidemic that involves our children. I noticed something off in my own household a few years ago during a school break. After a few days of hanging out at home I was going stir crazy. When I suggested we go to a movie or ‘ANYTHING you want to do’ their response was confusing.
“We don’t wanna go anywhere.”
“Are you sure? We can do whatever you want. What about the batting cages? Or Target? Chuck E. Cheese?” I was desperate. There’s only one mouse I hate more than the one who resides at the happiest place on earth and his name is ‘Chuck E. Cheese’. The unsupervised children, the ‘prizes’, the bacterium filled pool of filth or ‘ball pit’, it was more than I cared to experience, but I was determined to get the kids out of the house.
“We just want to stay home.”
Who were these kids? When I was growing up and the opportunity to leave the house arose, it was a death race between my brothers and sisters to see who could get to the car first and win the coveted front seat.
Things have changed now. There’s cable, video games, Xbox Live, cell phones, iPods, Skype. You name it, there’s no shortage of modern day conveniences that keep our children from enjoying the great outdoors. And when I say great outdoors I don’t mean hooking up a PlayStation to a television outside.
Now this epidemic has started effecting adults. Recently I went out to eat with some girlfriends. While waiting for our table, we used our smart phones to check emails, Facebook and one friend (who shall remain nameless) checked the weather front moving in. Right after sitting down at our table we all traded funny little anecdotes of our day and what made the latest batch of ‘Real Housewives’ total losers. But we did it all without looking up from our handhelds. It wasn’t an emergency email or text I was checking. Nope. I was checking to see if those loser housewives had updated their blog since the heated reunion show the night before.
No one needs to rely on good old fashioned memory- (which is a total bonus when you happen to be debating who won the 1967 World Series. Saint Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox). There’s no more, “What’s the name of ‘that’ song by Billy Joel? You know the one where the supermodel was in the music video with him?” Before you can get the word, ‘supermodel’ out, everyone in the group is praying to the Wi-Fi gods in hopes that their phone will be the first to pull up the answer. All so they can be the first to shout out, ‘Uptown Girl’.
So the weekend before the new school year started I decided to try something different. For a day we would turn off everything and live ‘gadget free’. No cell phone, land lines, iPod, iPad, internet, video games or television. 2 hours into this little experiment, our youngest had asked 156 consecutive questions, our oldest practiced his very best eye roll/sigh combination and my husband tried to find the missing pieces to Monopoly so we wouldn’t be the first known family to die from boredom. Just as my youngest finished the 157th question someone knocked on the front door. We heard the knob turn and immediately knew who would open the door without hearing, ‘come in’. It was my mother in law.
“I tried to call, email and text so I decided I better come over and check to make sure y'all are ok.”
Lesson learned...we will never turn our phones off again. I love technology.