By: Brandy Black
I recently had a discussion with someone regarding the new initiative to get computers, about the size of a Blackberry or iphone, in schools. They are saying that children are spending so much time on their phones -according to NY Times, approximately 7 ½ hours a day…pause…sigh…that the most time they spend with actual books is in school. The feeling is that it will be much easier to move the curriculum into computers, as it is in line with the where the world is going. Likely they will begin with lower income schools because most of these children don’t already have computers so it will allow them to “catch up” with the rest of the kids. Although wonderful for less fortunate students to receive computers, I believe the concept is flawed! Let’s start with our children’s tiny little eyes staring at tiny little screens for hours upon hours. What about the radio waves that they will be exposed to day after day? Really? Call me old fashioned, I’m devastated that the newspaper is becoming obsolete and although I’m all about embracing the ever changing world around us I can’t let go of the importance of bound books, the tactile feeling of flipping pages along my fingers and stuffing my bookmark between chapters to hold that special place for the next reading. I covet my cherished books that I spent hours adoring and will some day re-read or pass on to others to enjoy as much I. Will I one day sit and read the Chronicles of Narnia to my daughter on the kindle? Games are to be played around a table, laughing with music in the background and no keyboards in sight. We have gone too far. I may be a hypocrite as I sit typing away at my computer, I realize this, but someone has to reel us back in to titillating conversation that inspires great debates that last well into the night and not a Facebook argument for all of my acquaintances to see that only allows my brain to think as fast and as much as my fingers are willing to go. Discussions on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and the many other online outlets are a way for people to hide behind the truth of talking and listening and trying to understand the human being on the other end of a disagreement. We are becoming de-sensitized and sensationalized. Our texts have replaced phone calls. It is becoming easier by the day to avoid all personal contact to the people we love around us. I often wonder if we have it all wrong and can only hope that the next generation craves the taste of experiencing life rather than watching it on their iphone screens.