Saturday, February 4, 2012

Imagination is Dwindling- Imagine That: Part 1

When asked why they didn't do more reading, a group of teens unabashedly gave two reasons: the television and the computer. Both become addictive. Both become a substitute for relation within a family. Neither is totally negative. In fact, our technology is amazing. But technology is not in charge of our lives; we are! ...To willingly become a slave of something with an "off" switch is failure to control life. Television may be a passive activity, but what you see does affect your values, especially if you are not used to questioning what you see or read. If you think of your mind as a pad of paper with blank sheets, what are you writing on its pages? We need to decide how we want to fill up the pages of our minds. (Excerpts from 'Honey for a Teen's Heart' on Imagination.)

It may seem I'm agreeing with the idea to eliminate television entertainment, but that is not the case. If you knew me, you would know that I love a good movie! My family has not had cable TV since I was six. Granted we do have a television with a DVD player where we watch movies. But my parents have designated a certain time for movies. We kids are content with this. I understand that my parents want to protect me and encourage a creative and thinking mind.Too much TV steals imagination and attention spans.
"Statistics show that the average young person has watched of 15,000-18000 hours of television by age seventeen."

That's a bit scary.

I'm not just bashing television. The computer is another area I have to limit myself on as well. There are so many things in life that distract us from cultivating our minds like we should, giving our imagination a chance to live. Pushing those distractions away and getting family involved in books and conversation is a way to grow closer to one another and expand imagination.

Families can have so much enjoyment from wonderful family titles such as The Chronicles of Narnia or the Little House on the Prairie books. I remember when I was eight years old and my mother introduced me to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I couldn't imagine what it was about! And I was itching to know. Mom had a time where we would sit down every afternoon with some snacks and continue the tale about the magical land of Narnia in a wardrobe and the oddly-named fawn Tumnus. At eight years old I was hooked.

And to this day I can't put down books. I love gaining knowledge in general. School excites me (minus the loathed mathematics!) All because my mother sparked my imagination at such a young age instead of letting me veg out in front of TV all day.