Posted by: Kate | January 10, 2012

The Electronic Age

I’ve worked hard to keep Bushboy a kid who lives up to his name and is just as home in the bush as he is in front of a computer. Screen time is limited, and there is not much tv during the week. However, this Christmas all he wanted was donations to his quest to buy himself an iPod. Various family helped him, and he earned some extra money looking after the neighbours’ cats for a week.

He now is the proud owner of an iPod, and like it or not, we are deeply immersed in the electronic age around here as I may have given Mr. Kate a toy as well – a waterproof, shockproof video camera to film the river and riding adventures.

It is an interesting fence to straddle – the desire to be a part of the electronic age and yet the need to stay grounded in the natural beauty that surrounds us and the physical world we exist in.

At least I know it won’t dampen his love of reading – the first few things he did were to download a free ereader app which gave him The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which he immediately started; find an Archie comics app and find an app for the other series that he likes, Bone. But lets not kid ourselves, there are a number of games already on there as well!

The rules adapt, and grow and expand. Not to school, not in bed unless for reading, no video or internet upstairs. Slippery slopes require tough footgear, inside and out.

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Responses

  1. Good for you for aiming to keep Bushboy connected to the outdoors. It is not an easy row to hoe, but worth it in the long run. I used to wear the same tough footgear, and four of my five kids have grown up to love the outdoors. And the one who isn’t an outdoor lover is heavily involved in sports (that would be David), so at least he isn’t connected to technology 24/7.

  2. I can’t imagine being a parent in this day and age and trying to keep at least some focus away from technology. It seems you are doing a good job…setting a balance that may be uncomfortable to you, but will work for BB.

    Lately it seems like I’m being pushed from so many directions to get an i-phone or touch or pad…no idea the difference and don’t want any of them. But I did receive a Kindle for my birthday last year (and I love music so much I have had an ipod for years) and I have to admit that I love it. I’ll never give up real books and I’ll always feel the guilt of buying a book electronically. BUT…for the field, it is perfect I’ve found. And I’m reading more because of it. So maybe okay in the long run (considering I use it most when I’m in the middle of nowhere experiencing nature at its finest!).

  3. Bush Boy is going to LOVE his ipod. There are apps for identifying plants and my favorite looks to the stars.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-walk-5-stars-astronomy/id295430577?mt=8
    Hold your ipod up to the sky and it will tell you what stars you are looking at. SO cool!

  4. oh i hear you about the slippery slope… i’m sure it’s only going to get more difficult for us as lily gets older.
    i think you should feel very proud of yourself for raising such a well-balanced son in this technology-driven society. the ipod may be new and all-consuming for a while, but once you get that love of nature in your bones you can’t shake it.
    even if you *do* download inature… it’s just won’t be the same.

  5. We’re raising a (nearly) seven year old boy along similar lines. Lots of outdoors and books and limited technology. And the same rules for us! But last night over supper, his schoolfriend introduced him to the astronomy app that terri mentions (so great!) and now he’s adamant that our household ‘needs’ an ipod ;)

  6. We are in the same place as you – wanting our children to be comfortable with technology, but not addicted to it. I know so many teens who just can’t seem to break away from electronics and it drives me nuts! I know it is the world they live in but I just don’t like it.

  7. what a difficult thing to deal with. setting the boundaries young is the key to keeping Bush in his name. We wrestle (and my we, I mean me) with the amount of time Boy #1 and #2 spend using electronics. I am so uncomfortable with it, but it’s too late in their lives for me to influences changes. I just hope for the best, since they aren’t bad boys. Maybe they will grow out of it and all the other consumer culture. I can hope.

  8. Good for BB! I love that he’s earned his new iPod for himself, he’ll appreciate it all the more. It’s great you’ve set boundaries for him, too. One day he’ll appreciate it even more.

    The way technology is racing ahead, I can hardly keep up, ha ha. Seems the ‘new’ generation’ is very much different than when I was BB’s age. I often wonder what it’ll be like 10, 20 years from now? It boggles my mind.

    btw – love the intense concentration on Mr. Kate’s face, too!


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