THE ELECTRONIC GENERATION FOR GENERATIONS

     Not too long ago, The Christian Science Monitor featured a cover story entitled “iPad Generation” that spoke about how parents and/or guardians of kids are weaning those tots into using electronic devices made and geared toward adults or for those with an adult frame of mind. The electronic devices mentioned are smart phones, tablets, laptops, and other related items that are more into high tech.
     The article continued to note that these parents/guardians, consisting of those that would be labeled as “Generation X” (born between 1965-1979) or “Millenniums” (born 1980 through 1995) have their young kids (12 and under) play with their devices for their own amusement, or to teach them a thing or two. There are many applications (“apps”) for smart phones that are geared for kids, from simple learning projects to games that kids of an appropriate age find amusing, sometimes playing the game, etc. for hours at a time. It continued to state within the report that kids as young as two years are going hog wild for these adult toys, making these units as just another plaything falling into the ranks as building blocks and action figures. (For those that wish to read the article itself, visit http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2013/1020/Toddlers-on-touch-screens-parenting-the-app-generation)
     It’s rather interesting to note that giving kids iPhones or iPads (assuming one is into devices made by Apple) has been labeled to be both a good notion as well as a bad one. It’s good since kids learn about the standard thinking process. It’s bad because kids can be taught unintentionally to expect results and solutions in an instant, rather than through the traditional steps involved. And with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on the rise, such behavior is a major concern for these kids with the idea that a child may contract ADHD thanks to over simulation from wireless technology.
     With the exception of ADHD, such concerns didn’t exist ten years ago, as cell phone only took calls and received calls, and electronic pads were something only seen in a long forgotten Star Trek episode. (ADHD’s concerns started in the 1970’s and took off in the 1980’s) After all, such hand held devices were for grown ups, and the only thing kids had to play with that were of a electronic nature were battery operated toys where the batteries were not included! However, when kids becomes restless, the parent(s), etc. tend to give them their phone to play with to order to keep them quiet and to remain in some sort of good, or at least in some acceptable behavior.
     These anxieties would be filed as a situation linked to current post modern days aka the early 21st century aka “now”! However, it’s intriguing to note that other kids (now adults) were also weaned into the media world years before, with little to no attention ever brought upon it. Parents of kids would do similar actions to their little ones just as long as the kids would not cause a temper tantrum (called “meltdown” in current lingo) if not exposed to this alternative stimulation.
     This writer should know this fact since I was one of the many(?) that were weaned through the then mass media just to keep me form acting in a hyperkinetic fashion. Please allow me to present in details–for the first time ever–on how I was “controlled” to electronic stimuli. Read on.
     When yours truly turned three, it was noticed by my folks that I acted rather rambunctious, going around the room (or wherever) by running about and babbling about nothing in particular. (After all, what can a three year old say?) For my folks, they thought this kind of behavior was cute and nothing to be concerned about. Just as long as I didn’t get hurt, I was OK.
     Even when I was supposed to remain in one place, I would not remain still. While seated at the kitchen table eating breakfast in the morning, chomping down a bowl of a sugar coated cereal ranging from favorites still around (Sugar Frosted Flakes with Tony the Tiger pictured on each box) to those brands long forgotten (Frostios with Chummly the Walrus on the package) I would spoon down a few mouthfuls, get out of my chair, take a spin around the house, and to go back to the breakfast table to take a few more spoonfuls, and continued this process until I was done and/or I got yelled at by my mom to stop running around and to finish my cereal.
    Back then, although such theories as ADHD (or related) did exist, it never was discussed or noted much in the media. One may see an article in Redbook or McCalls that spoke about such behavior, but it never stated that one should medicate a child because (s)he was rather restless. (It was a good thing too, since I would have been doped up to the max!)
     Anyway, my mom discovered by accident on how she could stop my babbling as prancing from hither to yon. One long forgotten morning (after my daily dose of some dry cereal no doubt), she was on the telephone, perhaps speaking with one of my two aunts (both now deceased) over trivial matters. As she was on the phone seated on a kitchen chair along the telephone stand–a three foot metal wire table where one can place a phone on top with a compartment for a phone book–where she did much of her phone gabbing, I was running around the room while doing the babbling bit. My mom got rather annoyed with me from this uncalled for carrying on. So either by chance or through intention, she placed the receiver down, got up from her chair, and picked me up holding me from under my armpits to head toward the living room where our blond colored 21” Zenith TV set (black & white of course) was located. She turned the set on, plopped me in front of the screen, and left me there, heading back to her seat where she continued the conversation as before. I just sat there, affixed to whatever movement was occurring on the tube. Since this was some weekday morning, I assume that I was getting exposed to some sort of daytime TV fodder. I can’t recall just what I was watching, but it was enough to keep me occupied and thus, keeping me quiet and at bay.
     Discovering that plopping me in front of the TV was good since I somewhat got out of her way, she continued to do this until I started to get the hang over it. Before long, I would spend many a hour watching whatever was on. There were the kids stuff as Captain Kangaroo, and the many game shows and lighter talk programs geared toward the housewife of the era. (Girl Talk, hosted by Virginia Graham, was one of many that I recall!) Wherever I watched, it did keep me quiet and in order. However, I really didn’t participate much in what was going on, since I was just a viewer. Television itself was still light years away to become an interactive device.
     When I started school at around age six, although I was no longer watching TV for the entire day, I still continued to watch anytime I was able to. However, as I got older, my so-called ADHD-like behavior was beginning to take control. I wasn’t necessarily running around frantically, but I still got restless. That is, unless I was watching something on the tube.
     What yours truly is attempting to get here is the fact that I was exposed to electronic media that existed back then at a young age were I would watch, but not necessarily understand what was going on at the time. It would be many years later where I finally “got it”, making this form of communication something that would become rank and file to another slice of nostalgic pop culture.
     So what became of me and these actions? Did I become someone that would be always in tune to electronic stimuli? Did my mom do something evil by plopping me in front of the Zenith so she could have a bit of peace and quiet? Was my whole life changed forever because of this so-called wireless technology?
     The answer to all of these time tested questions would be “no”! I, as far as I know, is just as sane as any John or Jane Q. Public out there. I believe that I would be no different today if I wasn’t exposed to the television machine, always in tune to whatever was programmed by the local stations.
     For for those parents/caregivers that hand their two year old their iPhone to play some app downloaded from somewhere, it’s most likely that the kid will later turn out OK for who (s)he is! Just as long as you keep ‘em quiet without doing something hideous to ‘em, then why worry? Things are tough enough as they stand!!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
    Due to a scheduling situation, this edition will not feature any reviews. Regular reviews will return in the next issue. Until then, check out what Tiffi’s Facebook friends have to say (below)
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TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
Apparently in the excitement of my new ring I lost the ability to spell! Jered, Jared – who cares I love me new ring!
-Kelly

It’s no power Saturday! Thank you wind. All those important things I had planned to do…not happening. Instead going for coffee, movies, and driving instructor for Maddie
-Amy

Roger changed the alternator in his car. Then that alternator was defective. So he brought another one home and started to put it in. They gave him the wrong one, so he had to take it back. He said one good thing is he has learned how to put in an alternator. He is pretty stressed about my surgery on Monday. He has not really needed that. My printer has decided not to accept messages so I can print. Stick that closes the blinds broke off. Too many books to fit back on the book shelves they came off of. One of those days that tries patience. We will not let it get us down. There’s a new Hallmark movie tonight. Putting all aside to relax and watch that.
-Sue

My heart hurts.
-Robin
As of November 4th, Tiffi has 1,856 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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