Today as I was driving home from an appointment, enjoying the countryside, and the beautiful transition our season from summer to fall are taking, I was delighted to see a group of 20 teenaged boys, on their mountain bikes, meeting at the top of the hill prior to heading out onto their next destination.
What delighted me the most was the size of the group, but also the fact that they were actually out and about, acquiring normal everyday after school activities, that was once prevalent during my high school years. Sure, there might have been a cell phone tucked away in their pockets, but what stood out the most was their eagerness in their planned adventure, while talking amongst themselves.
As I arrived home, the park across our home was filled with activity. Kids of all age groups were hanging out, some enjoying the young play area, some playing ball, along with a group or two just hanging out talking as if they hadn’t seen each other all day in school.
Among all this activity, two young boys who were walking up the street were playing their saxophone and trumpet, with obvious enjoyment as they danced to their rhythm, while adding definition to this beautiful fall day.
Evenings we hear the sounds of 4 – 6 young people hanging out while enjoying their skateboards out in front of our home. Sure, I worry that they might get hurt as the light turns to darkness, as others drive their cars excessively fast on this little suburban road, yet these positive sounds of youth having fun and enjoying each others company is refreshing.
Considering how many comment on the youth being overly consumed with electronics, or causing trouble, I am seeing something different that I hope is a growing inclination of more independent, outdoor activities. We all need to burn energy whether after school or after work, and to see the choice to spend it out in the fields at the park, walking together while holding hands, playing instruments with expressive enthusiasm, playing ball or simply hanging out. Taking time out to spend with others while enjoying the experience is something I hope is a growing trend.
Considering that the school day and homework are filled with electronic requirements leaves them with a need to socialize and burn some energy. Albeit the electronics and social media have certainly taken a hold on our society, it is refreshing to see the youth coming to surface in exercising, socializing, and participating in activities outside the classroom and beyond the after school teams and clubs. Face-to-face communication is beneficial to their overall health along with developing people skills versus the many hours that could be spent texting and/or spent in front of electronic games or the television.
As I sit back and prepare to spend time on the computer to do my own homework, I reflect on my own youth, of arriving home after school to prepare for a 5 mile run, meeting up with my boyfriend, later to practice my flute on the lawn, or heading out for a hike in the woods before settling in to study with music playing in the background. The only real change is that we would spend hours on the phone, after our homework was completed with our boyfriends, versus spending every waking moment sending sweet text messages.
Electronics have certainly impacted our culture. I’m curious though, as to whether the newness might be starting to wear off, where the young people are making life choices to balance out the usefulness and fun of electronics, with necessary, yet healthy, social and physical needs.
Enjoy and feel free to share your feedback.
Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor