What happened to playing in the dirt and making dandelion necklaces?

Sandy Turner
Sandy Turner

Talking into my watch continues to remind me of  “The Jetsons,” which isn’t that far-fetched from today’s world. 

The grandkids’ generation hasn’t claimed an official name yet, other than the letter Z, although I won’t be surprised if it has the word technology in it. They believe the key to unlocking any and all entertainment is through their iPads. The days of cranking up the jack in the box for a surprise are over. YouTube fulfills their need for imaginary play, so living in a pretend world is no longer needed.

When the 6-year-old came over, I was excited to introduce her to paper dolls. When I explained how we could cut out all the clothes with scissors, she looked at me like I had lost my mind. Then she introduced me to the new way of paper dolls. Going to a website, she clicked her way through the closet of outfits for the computerized paper doll, no assembly required.

Settling down for the night, the TV announcer called out the lottery numbers from the balls dropping one by one. The 4-year-old, watching with serious intensity, as the man exclaimed the person with the matching numbers would win millions of dollars asked, “so that’s all you have to do to get money, pick a number on a ball?” Working hard for a living is a concept that is slowly fading away as kids are no longer exposed to “a good days’ work.”

Rumor has it children may never learn how to write in cursive. It’s sad to think it’s going to be a lost art, right along with mailing handwritten letters and notes on fancy stationary. Heck, you don’t have to wait to tell anything to anyone. Communication is immediate through texting and email and the days of sitting down for a heart-to-heart are over, unless, of course, you both have your cell phones handy.

Having to wait to say what’s on your mind can be a good thing. Back in the day, when a person was upset, by the time they finished dialing the rotary phone, it seemed a little better. The lull of listening to each number being dialed was enough to calm anyone down, besides the fact you were forced to stay put in a special chair sitting next to the telephone.

We are debating whether or not the set of encyclopedias in the basement should be pitched, along with the multiple dictionaries gathering dust on the shelves. Good money was spent on this set of books that held all the knowledge a person could need for homework assignments. The encyclopedia gave just enough information to get you started, unlike the internet which will write the entire paper in a matter of minutes.

I’m worried technology is raising our kids to be like robots. What happened to spending summer days playing in the dirt, making dandelion necklaces or playing hide and seek?

I feel like shouting out a George Jetson one-liner, “Jane, stop this crazy thing.”

Sandy Turner lives in Independence, Missouri. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com