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Anne Creighton Blodgett

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Anne Creighton Blodgett: Is technology killing childhood?

I read a statistic the other day in a parenting magazine at the doctor’s office that caught me off guard – a higher percentage of kids know how to play a basic computer game than know how to ride a bike.

While that’s pretty neat our little ones are so tech-savvy, it makes me wonder if this next generation will be missing out on the social activities that my parents grew up with or even that I had as a child.

Riding a bike with friends, playing catch with Dad after school, a neighborhood game of capture the flag – will it all be replaced by a virtual version? The thought makes me sad.

Of course, personal parenting choices will determine just how plugged-in our kids become, but in a society that pushes so hard to be the techiest, it’s hard to imagine we will revert back to the ways of yesteryear when cell phones and Internet were merely fantasies.

Perhaps our culture will eventually become the ones you see in sci-fi movies - where people control their personal robots out in the real world from the safety of their darkened homes.

Are we all doomed to live in a video game?

Probably not in my lifetime, thank goodness. And the more I talk about it, the more I think I sound like my granddad – reminiscing about the "good ol' days" and shaking my head at “those crazy kids” and their technology.

Sure, it’s important to know how to use a computer, but it’s even more important to be able to carry on a conversation with your parents over a game of cards after dinner or explore a make-believe jungle in the backyard with the kids next door.

I guess that tiny little statistic made me realize how important it is for our kids’ minds and bodies to function without a screen – and for myself, too. I’m just as guilty of burying my face in my iPhone at the dinner table as anyone.

But no more!

New family rules will be established this week. There will be limits put on technology usage, and dinner time (at least) will be a scene straight out of 1952 – table set, dog at our feet, smiling faces and not a Google or Facebook alert to be heard.

Anne Creighton Blodgett is married with a son and a stepson. Read her Thursdays on Douglas County Moms. Also check out her personal blog here.

Are we all doomed to live in a video game?

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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:31PM Published Mar 11, 2013 08:23AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.