There is a much talked about fear in the community of the effect of technology on the young; especially our young men. Constantly they are gaming, iPhone, iPad, WiiU, etc… They are difficult to motivate to go out doors, to help out with chores and to play, face to face with friends.
It’s not that they don’t enjoy these things, I just believe the online/game world has become an escape from reality that is sometimes difficult and too demanding and it has now become the default to being bored. I never hear children whine “I’m bored” because their heads are in the technology.
So this year at the end of school I decided to take four 15 year old boys away to a sleepy seaside village which has no internet and only three shops. They still had their phones and a couple of them had internet access. After settling in we headed first to a place called Boggy Creek, they loved jumping from the bridge into the water, much laughter, jostling and wrestling and whoops of delight. Later the adults headed out for a walk, my friend and I.
The cliff tops are magnificent and the rock structure phenomenal. We walked several times even getting the chance to see an echidna foraging for food.
Upon our return to the house we discovered the boys gathered in the lounge playing monopoly.
This game continued for a few hours, even with a break for dinner. Over the next couple of days they went snorkeling, sand dunning and wandering around.
The still played on their technology and even this was full of boisterous fun. It was magical that without knowing these boys displayed the Love of simply being together and renewed my Faith in the importance of connection to young people. Technology has changed a lot in our communities, but our young men are still loving being alive, hanging out and getting up to a bit of mischief in the physical world.