Friday, November 2, 2007

A world without TV

Without TV, without electronics, kids would have to use their imaginations more. They'd get together with their friends and play a game of baseball. Maybe they'd only be able to get three friends together, so they'd make up their own rules for the game. Then they'd spend the rest of the day playing whatever version of baseball they made up. Maybe one person would keep stats.
They'd run around in the woods playing hide and seek. The girls might pretend the tree was a house, and the boys might play cowboys and Indians. They might go out back and build a fort, and make trails around the fort and ride their bikes on these trails pretending the fort-trails are city roads. They might simply sit around and read, fish, do their chores, study for school, make up lyrics for songs, sing, play games like ring around the rosey, etc.

At night, after dinner, the families might sit on the back porch and tell stories of what they did all day, about how hard their work was. The ladies would talk of gossip, the men of sports or work. The kids would play outside until it was too dark to come in. They might play a board game or listen to grandpa tell a tale.

Gosh, now-a-days, instead of using their imaginations like this, people simply click a switch. What's the world going to be like in 100 years, when nobody does the simple things anymore. I can see how this might turn out to be a very interesting vision.

Is it a moralistic world like the U.S. was in the 'good old days?' Or more secular, as much of the Europe is today where people don't judge others and child rapists get the same punishment as a man who acts out in court. The answer to this question would have an impact on what kids do with their free time. Do they have work to do all day, as kids prior to the industrial age were required to work on the farm? Or is it more like today, where kids are more of a debt than an asset?

If it's a moralistic society, kids will more than likely respect each other and find nice things to do in their free time. If they have to work all day, they might not have much free time, and won't get into trouble. If they have free time, are they supervised by adults? If not, they might be out and about causing trouble, joining gangs, committing crimes, or participating in 'sexual experimentation.'

If they have adult supervision, their play would be more civilized and simple. Kid's would have an opportunity to be kids, instead of feeling the pressure to grow up and impress their friends.

While society changes, I don't think people do. I think you had kids 3,000 years ago moping around about how bored they were just as you do today, just as they will 100 years from now.

I used to talk to my grandma about this, and she said her dad refused to let her be bored. He'd encourage her to write down her thoughts, draw, or anything that would involve using her imagination. Of course, when she was a kid, there was no TV, there were no video games, there were no computers.

When I was a kid and went to visit grandma, she wouldn't let us watch TV. Instead, she's have us doing those things her dad encouraged. We were not allowed to say we were bored. Likewise, I'm the same way with my kids.

So, I suppose what kids do with their free time, whether they sit around bored or whether they create things to do, might have something do do with their upbringing.
And the kids that do not have a parent encouraging them will be the kids that are bored, and ultimately boredom results in experimentation, and that's how kids get into trouble.

The kids that don't have parents, or the kids of parents that do not discipline their kids in one way or another, will be the experimenters, and the ones who act upon their impulses without condideration of the consequences. And these kids will grow up to be the scum of the earth, many of whom will fill prisons.

How far our future parents go with disciplinig will determine how what percentage of kids succeed in life, and which ones go the other way. Essentially, while the statistics may change from generation to generation, while technologies change, the way people dress and look and talk changes, people never do.

What kind of upbringing do kids get in your vision of the future world? Do parents have an interest in their kid's education? Do they encourage their kids? Or, do they complain that their kids are "a pain in the ass" and let them do what they want.

I imagine kids of the parents interested in their kids education would make for a better world, but the later might make for more conflict, and, thus, a better story.

Just a thought.

No comments: