Taken for Granted

About 25 years ago the primary school my children attended was 25 years old. The students were given a research project – to go home and find out what was not available 25 years earlier when the school was opened.

I clearly remember their shock when they were informed we didn’t have video recorders, colour televisions or microwaves (amongst other things). They couldn’t work out how their mother heated her milk for coffee – a pan? on the stove!

If the exercise was to be done again today the list would have expanded – even things not available 10 or 5 years ago would generate a long list. No doubt technology would lead the field and if we asked whether things are better or worse it would spark a healthy, vigorous debate.

My question is around the concept of ‘have young people today taken all these things for granted’ and what might they be missing out on?

Conflict Management. We certainly had arguments with our friends when I was their age but we didn’t have the luxury of ignoring them or moving on – clicking a mouse and removing them from our friends list. We had to find a way to work it out or we missed out big time. Playing out was it because the staying in option didn’t include either video games, Facebook or Internet chat.

Adventure. I have just revisited my childhood home town (12,000 miles from where I now live). I took time to stroll down memory lane and recall92680910

building a dam and swimming down the Shoddy (ignoring the very real risk of leeches). Times spent down that Watt playing with discarded chemical drums (O H and S had yet to be invented) – that’s not to mention Tagg Wood. Exploration that fed fertile minds – hands on learning – outdoors too. Can it be the same to explore life via a screen? How will young minds be affected in the longer term if their discoveries are limited to finding hidden items online? Inquiring minds stunted.

Do you agree? What else did we take for granted that isn’t around today?

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