Apparently less than ten percent of children today regularly play in the free outdoors, (this compares to fifty percent of their parents when they were children). One study shows that kids can more easily identify a fictional character from TV than a wild animal. We all know that obesity levels have tripled in the last decade, and children’s mental health is on a sharp decline.
Technology in and of itself is, of course, not the culprit; it’s the way we employ it - our indiscriminate use of it - that’s the problem. Social media was never meant to disconnect us from nature. It was, and is, merely meant to be a tool that, if anything should give us more freedom!
So while I’m on a roll speculating, I hypothesize that if each time we go to use that tool, to for example text, we ask ourselves is this really necessary, we may find it is not! If each time we click the facebook tab to check the latest posts, we ask ourselves do I need to do this now; or when we go to check our emails for the fifth time today we question the necessity, we may discover the answer is no. And when we reach for the cell phone for whatever reason we instead stop and look around us and take a moment to connect with our environment, directly through our senses, maybe we would glance upon a leaf or a tree and be reminded of nature, wherever we find it. Practising such self-questioning, we may eventually discover we have a little more time to get out into nature and to take our children out into nature, not for the purpose of DOING anything specific, but for no other reason than to just enJOY it – freely………. free-range!