Sunshine recently made this comment,
When I ask them if they went outside over the weekend, the boys almost always tell me no. All they do is play video games or play on their tablets. When I say all, Farm Boy, I literally mean all. This is all that they do. From the age of five. They aren’t outside running, jumping, exploring, and building dams in the creek or tree forts. And if they do go outside, there isn’t much to do because all the other boys are inside, playing video games.
It isn’t like when we were younger. Heck, I was a girl, and I did those muck-around-outdoors things. Boys did them even more. But they don’t now. Given the choice, all boys want to do is stay inside and play video games. I really worry for them.
This is what I have heard also. Boys stay in and play video games whenever they can. In a sense, it is natural for them to do so. They crave the exploration, the competition, the camaraderie of team play, the low cost and the convenience. In generations past, they achieved much of this by exploring their neighborhood with their buddies and playing athletic games with them. This really pales in most respects to the modern video games. The “rushes” are harder to come by; there is more preliminary work required, sometimes you get hurt for real (e.g. cuts and bruises). It is just more work for seemingly less gain. Who wants that?
Now let us consider the young girls. They now have texting, snapchat, facebook and whatever the latest social media craze with the young ones is. Young chicks are very inclined to be social (often not in a good way). My older sister absolutely hogged the house phone when she was a teen. Hours and hours talking with her girl friends about people at school. As a young boy, I could hardly imagine anything more boring, almost like Chinese Water Torture. At that age, I dug drainage ditches for fun. Outside, doing physical stuff, rising to the challenge of getting it done. It was great. Anyway, this social stuff is what chicks are so very inclined to do.
For both genders (I am only considering two), letting these natural inclinations go wild is not good. In times past, farm kids had chores to do. So even if they wanted to, this silliness could not happen. Even city kids were forced to go outside and do real world stuff. All of this led to a balance, which improved the character of the youngster.
What to do? The obvious thing is to place time restrictions on such activities and to encourage other activities in their stead. It does seem obvious and simple. Still, many do not even really bother. Perhaps they see no problem. Which is perhaps more scary.