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Examiner
  • Sandy Turner: What’s happened to our imagination?

  • Between reality TV, Facebook, Twitter and cell phones, there’s never a need to imagine what someone is doing, thinking or feeling. I’m worried our younger generations are going to lose the ability to imagine.

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  • Between reality TV, Facebook, Twitter and cell phones, there’s never a need to imagine what someone is doing, thinking or feeling. I’m worried our younger generations are going to lose the ability to imagine.
    The days of being entertained by watching clouds or making necklaces out of dandelions are long gone. Kids who choose to play with imaginary friends instead of real ones are considered socially challenged, and those who have an abundance of energy are medicated instead of encouraged to play outside for hours at a time to release the liveliness that doesn’t fit into today’s social norms.
    It’s hard to know if there were any kids who were hyper when I was young, as by day’s end everyone was worn out. From riding bikes to building forts, if we weren’t worn out from being physical all day our minds certainly were from using our imagination. We didn’t need more than a couple of blankets and clothespins to make a tent or just our bikes to pretend to be cops and robbers. I’m not surprised kids don’t want to play good guys and bad guys nowadays. They’re probably scared to even pretend, as the reality of it is brought into their living rooms every day through violence seen on TV and video games.
    Our young people are taught through the actions of adults, and what they are witnessing is a generation of technology freaks who would rather sit in front of the computer than sit on the front porch and enjoy the sunset. Taking long walks has been replaced with the fast train to nowhere as we suck in as much technology as they will feed us. The need to be constantly stimulated has pushed the need for imagination completely out of the picture.
    Shouldn’t we think it odd 2-year-olds already know the concept of how to use a mouse and keyboard on the computer or can operate your iPhone better than you can, or kids who are sent to their room to play think of it as a punishment instead of a pleasure? They don’t have the chance to learn how to sit and be quiet with electronic games readily available to entertain them.
    I’ve been pushed up on my soapbox again with a grandson due to arrive any day now and another one shortly after. I want my grandkids to have the same childhood experiences I had, but I suppose theirs will be just as good, but in a different way. I’ll just have to show them the way it used to be done.
    When they pack their bag for grandma’s, it will need to include play clothes that can get dirty and shoes to run in, and the electronics can stay at home. All imaginary friends are welcome.
    Page 2 of 2 - A day at grandma’s will be full of dirt digging, bug finding and cow watching.
    Imagine that.

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