The new human tendency to focus on sedentary activities involving electronic media
There have been several studies recently, focusing on how much more time we're spending interacting with electronic media such as TV and the internet compared with how much time we spend doing outdoor activities, and the results are pretty grim.
It seems that as a society we are spending less and less time in the great outdoors, doing things like biking, camping, fishing, hiking, etc than we are watching TV, playing video games and hanging out online. This is undoubtedly a direct contributor to the obesity epidemic that's plaguing the USA right now. Are you surprised? I'm not. Heck, we're being videophiles right now as we speak, as you sit here reading this, not to mention the time I spent writing it.
So, you can say that while our society has advanced in areas of technology, electronic media, and invention, we're also slipping and losing some of the old skills we once had.
You have to think; what did people do before there was television, email, video games, I pods, instant messaging, video sharing and all the other incredible stuff we've now learned how to make use of? How the heck did they entertain and enjoy themselves? I know I can't imagine a life without my laptop! Even though I do remember a time when NOBODY had a PC. Heck, I remember a time before cable! But also, I remember being outside alot, playing with my friends.
I remember too, my father loading us up in the car and taking us camping, fishing, to amusement parks, and sometimes just somewhere out in the country to just run around in fresh, clean air.
I knew how to fish by the time I was five. My Dad bought me my very first fishing pole, and took me in a little rowboat with a motor on the back (to my mother's horror), and out on the lake we went. I caught my very first fish that day! I know that my appreciation for the great outdoors and outdoor activities comes from not only my parents' penchant for doing outdoorsy things, but also from the time period itself. Back then there was no such thing as just sitting around in front of a screen to be entertained! lol! Imagine that! TV was something I got to watch after my homework was done after dinner, and early on Saturday mornings before heading outside to play all types of games with my friends on the playground.
We ran, rode bikes, threw, kicked, batted, dodged and caught balls, chased each other, and figured out 1000 different ways to have fun until we wore ourselves out. And even then, we still didn't want to go home! I see the true value of all that now when I look at kids today who have no clue at all what playing really is.
We as a society are now more overweight, less healthy, and our attention spans have decreased significantly. I'm sure that never at any other time in history have so many people been sitting on their butts for such long periods of time.
At the same time, once you've evolved as a culture, it's hard to go back. We can't just unlearn our love of all the electronic media and devices now available to us. But we do need to learn how to create some balance. Know that in this day and age there are some people who NEVER go outside just for the sake of being outside. People who never participate in outdoor activities, simply because it was not part of their upbringing or it isn't popular among their circle of friends. They were raised on video games, text messaging and were taught to socialize on the 'net. How can we who know what good, healthy living and social activity is, let these others in on what they are really missing out on? I've yet to come up with the answer for that. But I do know we'd better figure it out soon.