Is Being Ahead of the Curve Worth It?

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Monday, January 24th, 2011
Baby Computer

What came first for you, riding a bicycle or playing video games? For me, I fondly recall my fifth birthday and me racing into the kitchen where my parents were already waiting. When my mom told me to look outside for my present, it gave me reason to believe that I would be getting a bike, which was at least a zillion times better than getting clothes. My bicycle was one of those big bikes that was built like a tank not like the carbon-fiber bikes with shocks, of today and it was my dad who taught me what life was like on two wheels. He ran behind me holding the back of the seat while I peddled around the neighbourhood and it was somewhere in one of those alleys I learned to ride that purple bike.

According to a new "Digital Diaries" study (Jan, 2010) from Internet Security Company by AVG, children are more adept at technology than some basic life skills. AVG conducted a poll of 2,200 mothers with Internet access and children between two and five years old in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. More two to three year old children know how to play a basic video game (44 percent) than know how to ride a bike (43 percent). More kids know how to turn off the computer (63 percent) or open a web browser (25 percent) than swim unaided (20 percent) or make their own breakfast (no percent given).

Needless to say, while many kids could probably teach their parents a thing or two about using a computer or smartphone, ironically the majority of them still rely on mommy and daddy to tie their shoes. There's a good chance that young children growing up in today's world will learn how to use a smartphone or some type of electronic device before learning any type of life lesson. There is no question that education departments are trying to cut costs and are looking towards robots to help in any way possible. Therefore, as technology advances, there is no need for human interaction anymore. "Digital Birth" released in October 2010, found that most babies and toddlers have an online footprint by the time they are six months old.

Growing up, I had a few bikes but it was my first and last bikes that leave me with my most vivid memories. It was pure joy just cruising around in the company of my friends and as I grew older I was allowed to go outside my familiar surroundings. I even suffered my first heartache over a bike. I must have been 14 years old when I decided I wanted a BMX. I had a paper route and so I saved my money, which seemed like forever. What a glorious day it was when my dad drove me to Western Cycle (local bicycle store) and I picked out a sporty, silver BMX. This was my transportation, when I would do my much dreaded subscription collections and one July evening some low-down thief stole my BMX while I had it parked on a customer's front steps.

To me, bikes represent that playful coming of age nostalgia that we all reminisce about from time to time. I will always fondly remember the feel of the wind on my face while biking; a feeling I honestly can say I will never experience from a 22-inch screen in my face. Is being ahead of the curve worth it or in other words is putting more emphasis on technology worth it? I am absolutely certain that I learned how to ride a bike before I learned how to use a computer and so it appears my childhood is behind on the curve. What is my purpose in life if I turned out to be a 22 x 14-inch box?