This was originally meant to be a comic about The Man, but I wanted him to write his own dialog and he fell asleep instead. Ergo: the kids.
When we were little, my mother taught us that boredom was our own fault. If we were incapable of using our brains to entertain ourselves, then that represented a sort of intellectual laziness. I had a sister and a brother, and we played together, but I also spent a lot of time alone, with my own head, which was, and continues to be, a magical place. Sometimes I still went and whined to my mother about not having anything to do, but since her response was usually along the lines of, “If you’re bored, go clean your room,” I learned not to ask her for entertainment advice. We read a lot, did puzzles and art projects, went to the park or bike riding, and made up our own games, constantly. TV was pretty limited–we didn’t have cable for the most part, and even when we did, there wasn’t that much programming for kids anyway, and even if there had been, our mother wouldn’t have let us sit in front of it all day long–so we used our imaginations.
I do worry what effect on-demand video technology has on kids. I see too many of them who are utterly incapable of filling in their own minds without a screen. Even with the ubiquitous screens, they’re still bored all the time. I mean, I like the Internet as much as the next person, possibly more, but I can also think of a million fun things to do without it. It’s a great tool; it’s a great friend. But it’s not everything.
It’s funny how when you put people–kids and adults–outside, out of reach of wifi, their whole outlook can change.