The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I watched an interesting documentary by Frontline on Netflix
today. It was called “Growing Up Online” and basically asked “just how
radically is the Internet transforming the experience of childhood?”
While the documentary seemed to focus on the social networking
component of the Internet, it did show a couple of the teenagers playing video
games and in one scene there were even several youngsters having a no kidding LAN
Overall the show was decent. It offered a fairly mixed
selection of characters…from the strict mother (President of the PTA) who made
her kids use the computer downstairs in the kitchen in the presence of one of
the parents to some pretty cool and tech savvy teachers who insisted on having
classrooms equipped with state of the art technology to make learning as fun as
possible. One teacher actually made a strong argument for the technology,
suggesting that the youth of today are subjected to so much dynamic media (TV,
commercials, games, etc) that if a learning environment wants to compete and
keep the student’s attention then it has to be a medium that they are familiar
with and enjoy. There was another old school teacher who said she would be
retiring because of the impact technology has had and her resistance to accept
it. (Good, we don’t need teachers like that…)
As I type this blog…and think about this subject…I
I’m a 37 year old male adult. I’m wearing a T-shirt that
says, “Still plays video games” on it. I’ve been a gamer for 25+ years. I
remember when the Internet started and company’s started listing their URL (www.yourcompanyhere.com)
on their products. I stayed up until 2:00 AM last night playing Bad Company 2. I’ve
got a Facebook page; a Myspace page; a Twitter account…I’ve got a wife and 3
kids…and we’re all gamers…and we’re all into social networking…and we’re all
into the Internet.
By the world’s standard (at least today’s worldly
standard)…I’m sure I am doing everything wrong. The kids have Internet access
in their rooms, they play too much video games, they have more online friends
then they do real friends and at least one (but maybe two) wants to work in the
entertainment (possibly video game) industry.
I’ve heard all the accusations…gamers are lazy, fat,
anti-social, introverted, have mental disorders, are prone to violent behavior,
are wasting their lives away, don’t do anything productive with their time, and
I heard people in this documentary have this impression;
I’ve heard people at work have this impression; I’ve read articles by people
(even the “experts”) who have this impression…while I don’t know that it is the
general consensus of society as a whole, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were.
The truth is, a lot of these people who stereotype and judge
gamers or people who otherwise spend their time online don’t understand
technology or are intimidated by technology, so they assume it’s ALL bad.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
Now, I know there is a lot of “bad stuff” on the Internet –
and yes, that even means there are bad people on the Internet. But you know what?
Life is full of bad people. There were bad people before the Internet. Long
before the Internet.
I dunno…I just try and teach my kids right and wrong…support
their dreams (no matter how crazy they may seem LOL) and keep an eye on them
because they’re going to make mistakes from time to time. Being strict,
unsupportive and controlling never seems to work.
We’re at a crossroads though, if you ask me. I think I am
standing in the middle. We are reaching a point where the older generation is
on its way out and the new generation is on its way end. There are a lot of
folks out there like me who are somewhat older but have a lot of the
technological interests and abilities the younger generation has. But we will
eventually get to a point…where everyone (or at least a large majority of
everyone) is somewhat adept with technology…I’ll even go as far as…one
day…everyone will be a gamer…to some degree or other. Statistics say –YES.
Think about it…if you’re a young gamer now…(probably the
last thing you’re thinking about is having kids…but trust me…it happens) but
when you grow up and have kids…are you going to encourage your children to play
video games and/or embrace technology? Probably...
It’s funny…I happened to catch a preview for Celebrity
Apprentice last night. They showed a clip where the former Governor of Illinois
(Yeah Blago, however you spell his name…the one that was fired for corruption)
was trying to type on a computer. He was using the old two finger hunt and peck
method. This is the former Governor of Illinois and he can’t even type
correctly…what the heck?!?
Our world and the reliance on technology is rapidly
evolving. I remember when jobs used to advertise computer skills or computer
background a plus. Now, it’s not required, it’s assumed. Keeping technology out
of the hands of the next generation in order to “protect them” is actually
I guess the point of all of this is I find it somewhat
annoying and hypocritical when society judges “young people” for engaging in
such behavior but are oblivious to it or just dismiss it altogether when the
same behavior occurs in an older crowd.
I dare someone to accuse me of being lazy, fat, anti-social,
introverted, have mental disorders, am prone to violent behavior, that I’m
wasting my life away, I don’t do anything productive with my time, and am a loser.
Okay…I might be a loser. Might. LOL.
Gaming. Social Networking. Online Activity.
It’s not a crime.