Conscious Thoughts

From A Child’s Perspective: Technology Vs. Real Life

Written by Didi Oviatt

Like a sponge, I take in my surroundings. My nine year old body is constantly buzzing with curiosity. Sometimes I can contain it, sometimes I can’t. This morning my mom took me to the department store before school. She said that we had to, “be quick, in and out.” I guess she didn’t have time to stop after work last night, and needed a few supplies for the office today. My mom is always busy, and so is my dad. They work a lot.

Luckily it’s friday, and my dad promised me we could go fishing tomorrow. I hope he doesn’t cancel again. And, I really hope he lets me wear shorts so that I can put my feet in the water. Except last time I cut my foot on a rock. It’s okay though because I didn’t cry and dad told me that, “chicks dig scars.” Whatever that means.  

In the store I saw a the biggest sparkliest bouncy ball that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It was so awesome. I tried to reach for it so that I could give it a tiny little bounce, just one, just to see if all the sparkles move around and shine everywhere, but mom yelled at me. She said,

“Tony!  I said, not to touch anything! We don’t have time to play!”

I tried telling her how much I loved the sparkles, but she didn’t care. I guess we were in to big of a hurry. We’re always in a big hurry.

At school I sat next to my best friend, Sally. She has really long pretty hair. I wish my hair was long and pretty like hers. She gets to wear makeup too. Her birthday is before mine, so she’s already ten. Her mom doesn’t care if she wears makeup. I finally got to start a Facebook account last week. Sally has been on Facebook for a long time, so has a lot of other kids in my class. Their parents are busy too, so they are allowed to be spend more time on social media. They say it gives them something to do when they get bored.

I’m bored a lot, so I’m glad my mom finally caved in. I’ve been asking her to let me on Facebook for a long time. I think she got sick of me bugging her.  I look through Sally’s timeline all the time. I don’t understand why her mom and dad always look so much happier on Facebook than they do in real life though.

Every time I go to Sally’s house her parents are fighting. I’m glad my parents don’t fight like that, but I wish they had more time to play with me. And, I really wish I could have bounced that ball at the store this morning. Maybe I can talk Grandpa into taking me back to see it. He’s always so much nicer than my mom and dad. He walks slow and lets me play with and touch things. He says that it’s, “important to learn and understand my surroundings.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean. My grandpa is so smart, I love it when he teaches me how to build things and tells me how stuff works.

Mrs. Green is my teacher. She’s really nice, and always smiles, and always lets me ask questions. She doesn’t look away, or stare at her phone, or tell me that I’ll have to wait until she has more time to deal with me. I really like my teacher. Just like every other day, she passed out our tablets first thing. We usually have five minutes to power them on and pull up our worksheets. My dad thinks we should have to use pencils and paper more often, and not so much of the computers. Every time he complains my mom tells him,

“It’s a changing world, dear. It’s important for the kids to know how to use technology. By the time they’re grown, Lord only knows what kind of place they will be living in.”

I don’t know what she means by ‘changing world’ though. To me nothing has changed, everything’s the same as it’s always been. And besides that, my dad is on his phone while we’re home just as much as I’m on the laptop. I don’t see him using a pencil and paper very often either.

Tommy sat on the other side of me today. He always struggles with his tablet. His mom don’t let him have one at all. He doesn’t have a phone either. Whenever the other kids make fun of him, he just cries and says that it isn’t his fault and that his family insists that, “they stay old fashioned.”  He’s always behind the rest of the class on our assignments, and he never really likes to play with his tablet at freetime like the rest of us do. I think he’s embarrassed.  

Tommy sits by me a lot, because I’m nice and I help him. I don’t like it when the other kids tease him, and they don’t seem to as much when he’s with me. I don’t mind showing him how to use the programs we have in school. I feel bad that he can’t have a tablet or a phone of his own. I’m sure he’ll get teased even more next year. I heard that the sixth graders are really mean. Maybe at recess I’ll teach him how to use my phone, I think he’ll like that.

Today Mrs. Green had to go to the bathroom for kind of a long time, so we all got to just play on the Internet after we finished up in the workbook program. The school keeps almost everything blocked, but Jason is really smart. He has three computers of his very own at home, and he’s mastered every game. He always finds a way to get around whatever controls are blocking his tablet. As soon as Mrs. Green walked out of the room, a lot of the kids in my class crowded around Jason. There was pictures of naked people on the screen. He said that he looks at them all the time and no one even knows. Some of the kids thought it was pretty cool. I just thought it was kind of weird, so me and Sally talked about her birthday party instead of looking at Jason’s favorite websites.

When Mrs. Green came back in the classroom, Jason told her that he was showing the kids how to do their assignment. She always believes him when he lies about hacking into the school’s Internet security. He’s pretty slick, and his best friend is the biggest kid in class so no one ever tells on him. I thought about telling my mom about it once, but I was too scared of someone finding out that I was the tattle tale.

The rest of the school day went by super fast. My mom picked me up and we grabbed a pizza before she dropped me off with my grandpa. She always has to go back to the office until dark. I reminded her to charge my tablet on the drive, it was almost dead this morning because I was up late on Facebook.  I snuck it in my room to send out friend requests to everyone I know. I’m so excited to see what kind of stuff all of their families really do when they’re at home, especially Jason.

***This story is fictional, and is meant solely as an example of a young child and the possible outlook on daily life through the eyes of one this age.  Technology is ever changing and unless balance is offered the results of one’s childhood can be extremely beneficial and/or devastating.  It is our job as the parents/guardians to instill a strong moral code and ethic into our children. We owe it to our kids to give them our time and understanding. To see things how they do, in order to provide what they need in life. Teaching them how to use what this world has to offer for the greater good, as well as advancement is arguably crucial to their coping and developmental skills. In order to do that, an understanding of real life and the difference of the emotions developed in personal interaction vs. what may be phony or technically driven. ***

About the author

Didi Oviatt

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she's writing mystery/thrillers like Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians(a trilogy to be). Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and bathing in the desert heat plays an important part of her day to day lifestyle.