Into the breach yet again, and we are up to our elbows in crap...
For example: This example from the New York Times Play Time Is Over.
Now that most children no longer participate in this free-form experience — play dates arranged by parents are no substitute — their peer socialization has suffered. One tangible result of this lack of socialization is the increase in bullying, teasing and discrimination that we see in all too many of our schools.Indeed, go into any school and what do you see at recess? Do children interact with each other? Of course not. They simply sit and stare at the sky and wait for someone to switch on youtube or Spongebob or what have you, as there brains have been lobotomized by years of Internet usage and cable TV. How will they ever experience the joy of sitting quietly in church, listening to a boring guy drone about whatever he feels like talking about? And what of the thrill of singing hymns and repeating prayers one doesn't understand? How deprived children are today!
Okay, I was completely wrong. This is completely true. When we compare studies of bullying and thuggery from 1900 to 2010, we can see that rate of larger children abusing smaller children was at 0% in 1900! Versus 75% in 2010! And the same is true of rape, child abuse, homosexual relations, and in fact all sexual relations. Nobody had sex in 1900, and now everyone's doing it (except me). I don't think African-Americans or Latin-Americans existed before 1900 either, except as amusing caricatures.
Bullying has always been with us, but it did not become prevalent enough to catch the attention of researchers until the 1970s, just as TV and then computers were moving childhood indoors. It is now recognized as a serious problem in all the advanced countries....One tangible result of this lack of socialization is the increase in bullying, teasing and discrimination that we see in all too many of our schools.
For children in past eras, participating in the culture of childhood was a socializing process. They learned to settle their own quarrels, to make and break their own rules, and to respect the rights of others. They learned that friends could be mean as well as kind, and that life was not always fair.Yes, you learned that no one gives a shit about other peoples' problems, especially school administrators, especially problems that involve one group of children punching out one child in an alley. (What exactly is their function? Other than to say, "That's not our problem." That probably is their only function.) Anyway, as a crisis counselor, my first response to a rape victim was, "Well, life ain't fair you know."
But let's not get carried away by nostalgia. The important thing to remember is that you should latch on to an idea, e.g. technology = bad for kids, and then just keep repeating that idea for as long as and as loud as you can. And maybe, just maybe, you'll get tenure and perhaps some people will be gullible enough to listen to you. And don't we really all want someone to listen to us--even it's someone as gullible, foolish and stupid as ourselves. I learned that on the playground because no one would fucking listen to me.