Monday, September 5, 2011

Unplugged mama vs. the Screen generation

We watch our four-year-olds frolicking outside, and chat about a fellow playgroup mum's studies.  She's lamenting how many books she has to buy.

"I bet by the time they're at high school they won't even have books," I postulate, gesturing towards our kids.  "It'll all be screens.  They'll just pop along to school with their I-Paddy thingies."

"It's already like that!" says another mum, overhearing.

"No!"  We all exclaim.

"Yes! I know a school where the whole class hires IPads, basically a hire-to-buy system, and there's no books.  They have a Wi Fi signal or something."

We're all amazed.  The future it seems, is already here.....

But my four-year-old could have told me that.  Although the only "screen" she has access to is a television, if anyone in her radius has an IPhone, an IPad, a Kindle, a Nintendo DS, basically anything with a screen, she's onto it in five seconds flat, poking and playing with a dexterity and sophistication that amazes me.

How do they learn this?  I think it's something hardwired in them; our children, born with a mouse in hand.

And you know, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing.  I'm delaying the "Screen" thing for as long as I can, but I look forward to the day Little Red can explain to her mum exactly how to download and edit video from the camera; or songs onto my yet-unused MP-3 player.  Or how to play The Sims that's been gathering dust since DH and I gave up on it 6 years ago, or help me figure out which SLR camera to buy.   We can swap novels from our ebook readers, and Skype each other on school camps.

I think it'll be nice to learn something new; and I can tell her how retro and "cool" real books are (were?).

There's another big advantage of this bookless generation, no... two.   Less backaches from carrying heavy school satchels... and, inexpensive textbook downloads for mum. Booyeah :)

Are your kids "plugged in"?  What screens do they have and what are your rules of engagement regarding screen-time?

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