Jan 7, 2011

Tech-No-kidology



Holy Hiatus! With Christmas and New Years falling on the weekend this year, I just couldn’t get my life together enough to sit down and blog… which I think is okay, because you readers probably couldn’t get your lives together to sit down and read either… We’re even!

So during this hiatus, winter decided to rear its ugly head. Here in the Northeast we didn’t have a white Christmas, we had a white day-after Christmas. Whether you like snow or not, many Holiday/Christmas songs of a “White Christmas,” end up making most people long for it, even if they don’t particularly like snow. In short, had the storm arrived just 12 hours earlier, it could have arrived to open arms… but truthfully, instead, it was greeted with a groan.

I guess at some point, snowstorms have had to stop being personally offended by the adult – hatred toward them.

  • “We have to get to work” 
  • “We have to reschedule everything now” 
  • “I don’t want to shovel” 
  • “Oh No, Look at the roads!” 

Whether we like it or not, all of those miserable expressions come seeping out of our mouths the second the snow starts sticking to the ground.

Once you graduate high school, snow morphs from “YEAH, DAY OFF!” to “UGH, I HATE SNOW!” It’s a big, white, fluffy (sometimes mushy) inconvenience.

If snowstorms had feelings, they would have to be offended. But while we bitch and moan, our gripes are countered with adolescent screams of joy! They pray for snow in school. They wear their PJ’s inside out in hopes of snow magically appearing. They close their eyes at night and dream about their back yards morphing into a winter sledding amusement park.


  • We see piles of snow, they see igloos and snowball forts.
  • We see a covered driveway and think about all that has to be shoveled and they see a clean palate for Snow Angels.


Kids put a happy spin on the snow. So even if a snowstorm did have feelings—which isn’t that far off, I mean, come on, we name Hurricane’s, why not give snowstorms a human quality too? So EVEN IF, they were offended by the adults, the adolescent elation and love for snow, far out ways our bitch-fest’s.

Or at least it used to…

I’m not sure what happened in the last 10 years since I left grade school… okay so maybe it’s more like 15 years but who’s counting—I’m 20SOMETHING—remember?! ;)

So, in that “window” of time, the kids of America have changed. They are technologically savvy. They get leapfrog laptops as toddlers and carry Playskool cell phones. When they become the age to go to school they listen to music on the school bus that blares through their ear buds courtesy of an iPod touch. They keep growing up and manage their homework on a palm pilot or smart phone, they Skype their friends after school and in 8th grade the stay current on who’s going out with whom, by watching the relationship status of their friends change on Facebook!

The kids today are advanced. They are Techno/ digital and thus just too damn busy texting, skyping, downloading and Facebooking to make time for Snow!

One of my best friends has a little brother in middle school. She called me during that last snowstorm pissed off. The conversation went something like this…

“Lan, I have to talk to you.” She sounded upset, so I lowered the volume on my reality-show dujour.

“There is something seriously wrong with my little brother…”

“Oh My God, is he okay?” My chest tightened, I was afraid what she would say next.

“Yeah, he’s fine, it’s nothing like that” Whew, sigh of relief. “I asked my brother if he was going to hang out with his friends since it’s a snow day. He said “Yes” and went into his bedroom.”

“OK, so what’s the problem?”

“The problem is, he never came out.”

“Maybe you should check on him?” I was starting to wonder about my friend…

“Exactly, so I went in to see if he was okay—maybe needed help doubling up on gloves or zipping up his snow boots. I open up his door and find him still in a T-shirt and pajama bottoms, his TV blaring and he’s holding neon controllers in his hands jumping around his room.”

Let me interject here. I do not have younger siblings, I have a nephew, but he’s 1, so I have no idea what in God’s name my friend is getting at. To me, it sounded like her brother had a bad case of cabin fever and maybe an adolescent nervous breakdown complimented by neon glow sticks? So I had to ask...

“What the hell was he doing and where did he find glow sticks?”

“What? I didn’t say glow sticks, I said neon controllers, ya know for X-Box Kinect.”

“X-Box what?”

“X-Box Kinect, it’s a new game!” I was instantly relieved there was a logical explanation for the glow sticks, I’d hate to think her middle school brother was already attending raves.

“So anyhow, I asked him what he was doing and he said he was playing with his friends. Apparently they can all log-on and play these games together. I asked him if he was going to play in the snow and he said, ‘No, its cold out!’ What is wrong with these kids today?”

And there is was, the age old, official statement... “What is wrong with these kids today?!” The second you find yourself saying that in normal conversation, it’s a red flag you’re officially an adult! My friend continued to rant for a few more minutes about how watching your friend on a computer or logging on and playing a game doesn’t count as “playing with friends” or “hanging out.”

She was right though. Not only are these kids isolating themselves with technology, but because they all log on to chat on the computer, play on X-Box or skype from a video, these poor kids actually think they are still “hanging out” with one another.

It’s funny though; we spend our childhood, trying to act like a grown-up. Thinking about what we’ll be when we grow up, trying to learn as much as we can so we can act and be grown up. Then one day, we find ourselves, all grown up.

At that point, we realize that we will now forever spend tons of energy and time, saving money so we can take vacations and act like a kid again. We yearn to travel so we can marvel at something the same way we marveled at snow as a child. We wait in baited breath for Friday night, for the weekend to get here, so we can be care-free for 48 hours, just like we were as a kid, before its back to the grind of adulthood on Monday. We even drive our cars with bumper stickers that say, "It’s never too late to enjoy your childhood!"

Maybe these kids need a little reminder. You have to soak up your youth while you still have the chance. Put those Ziplock bags over your socks and stick them inside snow boots to keep the snow out, because you’re going to go out there for hours.

 And who cares if you get sick, because you’ll just stay home from school. The teacher can’t email you homework, you’ll just have wait till the next day when you get there.

See, there really were some perks about not being digitally connected! ;)



SHORT AND SWEET…AKA…MORAL OF THE BLOG


These kids (and us, because the adults are setting the example) don’t need to log on to achieve being connected. We have to log OFF and get OUTSIDE into the world. Build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build a fort, make snow angels, be the first steps in the snow-covered wonderland of life outside after a snowstorm… there’s no age limit!

Half the fun of a snow day was meeting friends, “half way” and trudging through the snow together. The streets are empty, the snow is still, and the only thing you can hear is the echo of your own giggles as you and your friends pummel each other with snowballs.

We have to remind the younger generation of this… That you don’t have to hook something up to your TV, have Internet connection or download something to have fun. Let’s all help these little techi’s, so that they don’t DVR and fast-forward right through their own childhoods.

xoxo
Lana


“Too many people grow up. That's the real trouble with the world; they grow up and they forget. They don't remember what it's like to be 12 years old.”- Walt Disney




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xoxo
Lana