When I was a kid, I fell a lot. I fell over, fell down, fell sideways when I was sitting in chairs, etc., and when I say I fell a lot, I do mean A LOT. It wasn’t my fault, to be honest, genetics and the awkwardness of childhood didn’t do me any favors. I had a big old head, still do, and a tiny body. Where was my momentum going to take me but down? I also had this nasty habit of walking into walls, but that one was 100% my fault.
However, the whole “Josh falls all the time” act starting going away the more I grew. As I got older, I started finding more balance in my body. I started playing sports, so I learned to balance myself and keep my feet underneath me.
It’s the key to everything.
In this article, I could come out and make it a full-fledged frontal assault to a New York publication article that attacked increased screen time for kids during a global pandemic. Even though the pandemic has restricted their ability to socialize or live life like they once did properly, but I won’t. I won’t use fear tactics or conjecture to make false arguments based on little to no facts to make my arguments either. I just want to talk about balance and how to find it in an increasingly digital world.
Anything can overtake our lives: It can be TV, phones, hobbies, work, or people. As human beings, we tend to obsess and become addicted to the things that stimulate us the most. Video games are no different; we all know that by now.
The answer isn’t to abstain from playing video games or to eliminate screen time altogether. It’s about finding the right balance for you. My kids are 12 and 10, and I don’t restrict their game time on the weekends. They can play as much as they want. However, during the week, they only get 30 minutes a day after homework and chores are done. We’ve struck a balance. They get rewarded for working hard during the week and doing what they’re supposed to.
On top of that, I know first hand that forms of social interactions are evolving. Some of my best friends are people I haven’t seen in over 10 years if I’ve ever even met them in person, yet I play video games with them every day. The way we interact and socialize as a society has been changing for a long time. The pandemic didn’t change the way we communicate and socialize. It only expedited the inevitable. Does that mean we should be afraid of our judge these new forms of social interaction just because it’s “new” or “different”? No, of course not.
We need to embrace the pervasive growth of an ever-increasing digital world but find our balance within it. If a kid is spending six hours a day on Tik Tok, then that’s not healthy. Maybe it’s time for them to go outside. If, as an adult, I sit all day playing video games, as I often have been known to do, and I neglect responsibilities and people because of it, then that’s not balance. When these activities start to affect and disrupt other areas in our lives in truly and factually negative ways, then we know we haven’t found the balance.
But the human condition is full of imbalances in behavior, this isn’t anything new. Video games, phones, etc., are just one more thing we have to learn how to juggle, but that’s the human condition. It’s a nonstop juggling act. For our parents and grandparents, it was work, kids, bowling teams, and play night. Just because bowling turned into video games and poker turned into D&D didn’t make it a different struggle. The variables may be slightly different, but the equation is always the same.
Enjoy your video games and let kids enjoy theirs.
Just find the balance.