To the Journal editor:
I grew up in the 1990s. There were very little video game systems on the market, there were no cell phones, and computers were only available at school. I spent my free time playing outside with my friends. I had Nintendo, but I was not allowed to spend hours playing.
In summer, my friends and I would go swimming daily at the local pool and would ride our bikes around the neighborhood. We would get together in a neighborhood field and play baseball, kickball, or football. In winter, we would go sledding, have snowball fights, and build snowmen. We were constantly playing outside.
I look at my nephews and my friend's children who are growing up now. I can't believe the amount of video games that children play on a daily basis and the kinds of games that their parents let them play. What happened to playing out in the sunshine? The affordability of computers is not helping the situation.
Many of my friends' children have Facebook accounts and are on my friends list. One of my friends created a Facebook profile for her child as soon as he was born! It is absolutely ridiculous. There are too many dangers where children are concerned when it comes to the internet. If they mention too much about where they live, stalkers can find them and do bad things to them.
I am a fan of children having cell phones to a point. If I ever had children, I would like them to have a cell phone on them in case of emergencies. I would make it so they could only call us or emergency numbers. It would not be a phone with tons of applications and games. It would be a plain, simple, dumb phone.
As I look around at children now, many have cell phones with tons of games, and handheld videogames that they are allowed to carry to school. School is no place for handheld games.
School is for studying and parents should be encouraging their children to make friends, or read, or play outside during recess. Any parent or teacher that allows children to have so much interaction with video games, computer games, and cell phone games should be ashamed of themselves.
I hope that even with the advance in technology that children will someday learn what it is like to actually play sports with friends not with a Nintendo WII.