Importance of the Natural World in the Digital Age
We live in a digital age.
Parents play classical music on their phones and other devices for their yet-to-be-born-babies. Once born, they are watched over by anxious parents, over the baby monitor. Parents use apps to keep track of their baby’s milestones. Kids play with electronic toys to maximize their learning in the crucial toddler stage.
In school, kids routinely learn with digital devices even as parents encourage kids to play learning games at home for building academic competence. For relaxation and learning to nurture, kids might play virtual pet games and to improve their intellectual abilities kids might also play Mensa Games. Kids routinely socialize by playing with peers on Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Then, there are articles about how many kids don’t recognize that bananas come from a plant and that cheese does not grow on a plant. Isn’t it time we worried? Seriously wringing-hands-worried?
Being Part of Nature
Human Beings might have existed for a long time on this planet, but we really do not ‘see’ most of the things that happen quietly under the fabric of visible life. In fact, it is only now that humans are comprehending the magnificence and interconnectedness of life on this planet. Lost in our hubris of being a dominant species, we are rapidly moving to the edge of the precipice of self-destruction by literally spitting in the water that we drink. As we walk towards environmental degradation, we do not realize that our kids follow in our footsteps. We spit, they spit, but they spit into waters which are already very dirty, even as they and their offspring have to drink out of it for longer that we have to. It is imperative to understand that all the creatures, plants and other elements on this planet are connected and our well-being is dependent on the collective well-being of life as such on Earth. We are a jigsaw piece in the larger jigsaw puzzle of life, and it is incomplete even if a single piece is missing.
Food is Primary to our Survival
Without food, we cannot exist. To grow food, we must know the world we live in. Even as digital worlds are trying very hard to get ‘realistic’ we must not let our ‘real’ lives drown in the digital onslaught. It is crucial to introduce our kids to a variety of food. We must see, touch, and smell it. It is important that we speak about how it’s grown, its value, where it comes from, how diets have evolved over time, and most importantly dirty our hands occasionally and grow some food.
Learning to Balance
It is an interesting fact that people frequently go to the digital world to find an answer about the real world. Googling for information is the easiest way to find something, be it information or a thing. The digital world is a great marketplace of information. People share, barter, and trade for information and via those channels, other things of interest. As kids grow in such an immersive atmosphere, they might not know of a world where life can be lived without a digital component. The last few decades have seen a great churn in social behavior thanks to this digital component. Not all of it is good. As parents, it is our job to help our kids negotiate this world, by introducing them to the sparkle and adventure of real life. We must help them strike a balance between the real world and the digital one.
The Importance of Being Human
As our world veers more towards immersive digital worlds, children are losing the ability to read emotion. After teaching children about the evolution of the human being in classrooms, the world happily saunters towards a future where kids are losing innate human abilities, which are core to being human. Humans are sentient beings and this helps keep human values right in the middle. It is every parents’ job to bring up well-rounded individuals who understand the responsibility of their place in this world we inhabit. We are not entitled to everything this world offers us, we only use it to sustain our lives and leave it in good condition, for the ones who follow in our footsteps.
To wrap up, we might be able to read a lot about the apple in the digital world, but first and foremost, we should know about the existence of an apple in the real world.
Author Bio:George Schalter loves being a dad. He and his wife share the joys and responsibilities of bringing up their two children. As believers of good all round education, they spend a lot of time playing with their children and spending time outdoors. As George is the writer in the family, he blogs at Educational Kids Games. You can connect with him on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
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