First a repost from They say it’s in the Genes:
Switzerland by train
“Yesterday, we took the train from Paris to Zurich, passing through the valley of the Rhone… past castles… medieval churches… lazy, picturesque rivers… quaint villages… to Lyon… Basel… and then skirting the Alps and lakes to Zurich. The scenery was remarkably beautiful. But the most remarkable thing we saw wasn’t outside the train car; it was in it.
A family of Americans boarded the train in Gare de Lyon in Paris. They took their seats, parents and two children. Tanned. Dressed in baggy shorts and polo shirts with little alligators on them. Even before the train left the station, the parents had given each of the children an iPad. Then mom and dad each got out their own iPad… and plugged in ear phones. From our vantage point, we could see that Dad was watching some sort of action movie, apparently with super-heroes involved. Mom’s iPad viewing was never revealed. But from Paris to the Swiss border – three hours of some of the most scenic countryside in Europe –none of them even looked out the window. Nor did they say a single word to one another.
Source: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly Read more
A couple of days ago I read a post that really disappointed me. It was about how to keep kids entertained during long journeys.
Then it went on to list a heap of electronic games and gadgets extolling their virtues.
Now I’m not criticising the quality of the post, it was excellent.
What disappointed me was the need to keep kids quiet. What disappointed me was that the kids were being deprived of the world and the natural wonders around them. What disappointed me was that parents had failed to teach their kids. What disappointed me was that we seem to have back-peddled into the Victorian era where kids should be seen and not heard. What disappointed me was that the kids were missing a vital part of growing up. What disappointed me was that parents didn’t want to engage with their children.
The world has gone so far off the rails, parenting has been abdicated to electronic bullshit.
Two weeks ago I took my ex and family to lunch, a costly exercise at a good restaurant. My stepdaughter, Ellen Suelen, at 14, immediately whipped out her cellphone thingy (I’m not totally up to date with these gadgets) and began texting. I was so disappointed and I told her so. Ellen has loved this restaurant since she was nine, she loves the class, she loves the food, she loves being waited on hand and foot; and she loves the idea of no dishes.
She put her cellphone away sheepishly.
We talked, I said I had bought them here to enjoy themselves, to taste the food, to converse and to repair some of the damage of being a broken family through the separation, to show them what they could achieve if they studied. I had invested in this exercise, my investment amounted to R$300+. If she wanted to text through the meal, I would have saved a small fortune and given my ex R$50 and sent them to McDonald’s.
Kids should be taught by their parents to appreciate what is around them, if they don’t they are failing miserably.
We need to wake up and smell the coffee, not just drink it between texts without appreciating life.
Once again, it is ‘progress’ that is impeding our ability to be social animals.