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Childhood Nostalgia

From Toys to Tech

Megan Rinock, Staff Writer

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It’s a colorful, packed crowd. People, small and tall, wide and skinny, are lined up in bizarre outfits to watch the procession go down the aisle. However, the people in the wire carriage refuse to look at them; instead they are intently focused on a small black rectangle two inches from their face. They don’t want to look up at the crowd that was gathered for them. Suddenly, the mother gently prods them to look at the toys, but the children don’t take their eyes off the smartphone’s screen. Whatever happened to playing with Barbies and Rescue Heroes?

The most common toys children have today are surprisingly, technology devices. However, manage to look past those and you can find rows and rows of figurines in which we’ve all grown up with. This includes Darth Vader, Barbie and Ken, all ‘Toy Story’ characters, Tonka toy trucks, and the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ from Nickelodeon. Except back then, smartphones didn’t interfere with these classic toys, simply because they did not exist a decade ago.

“I really think that I would not have been better off if I would’ve had those [smartphones]. I really think that the way I grew up and what I had in my childhood developed me as a person and it defines who I am now,” says Kyle Vickery (10). Back when we were age 6, the moment we entered the toy aisle was Heaven for us. Nowadays, children are hooked on popular apps such as YouTube and Netflix. In fact, 53% of children age 6 in the U.S already have their own smartphone [study conducted by Chicago’s ABC 7 News].

I really think that I would not have been better off if I would’ve had those [smartphones]. I really think that the way I grew up and what I had in my childhood developed me as a person and it defines who I am now”

— Kyle Vickery

Ten years ago, most of us were between four and eight years of age. Even at the eldest age of eight, we still ordered off the kid’s menu at most restaurants. “I’m glad I was a little kid when I was because I look at it now that I had all those things that I could do, but nowadays, the kids are all in the technology, and it’s almost as if they don’t have as much independence,” says Abbygail Paige (11). Toddlers to ten year-olds almost always have their faces buried in a smartphone or iPad. Even when they’re playing educational games, they tend to not pay attention to toys. These mini-tech junkies are even more addicted than teenagers are today. Want to watch Netflix and chill? Little Timmy’s got you covered.

“It’s like society is saying, ‘Oh yeah, you can play with your iPad,’” says Lindsay Hall (11). Adults contribute heavily to this toddler-tech-addiction problem. After all, instead of telling their children to go outside and play, they hand them their smartphone. What better way to get a toddler to stop crying than to fork over an electronic device. Half the children handling the device do not even know how to read and can end up finding harmful movies, shows, or videos that they are too young to understand. Times have truly changed from when we were kids.

It’s no surprise that technology is on the rise, but with it, imagination exits. It is most likely that we are the last generation to not have our baby photos taken on phones. “I feel like [my childhood] was better [than the new generation’s childhood] because everything was more creative and you got to imagine more. And with the smartphones, that’s all kind of there for you,” says Grace Winderlich (9). “They’re all stuck on their screens and they’re not outside exploring and doing fun stuff.”

 

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Childhood Nostalgia