Offline Is The New Luxury Quotes

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It is this heightened state that may produce several relatively new phenomena in childhood today. As the clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair,10 the author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, observes, the most commonly heard complaint when children are asked to go off-line is “I’m bored.” Confronted with the dazzling possibilities for their attention on a nearby screen, young children quickly become awash with, then accustomed to, and ever so gradually semi-addicted to continuous sensory stimulation. When the constant level of stimulation is taken away, the children respond predictably with a seemingly overwhelming state of boredom. “I’m Bored.” There are different kinds of boredom. There is a natural boredom that is part of the woof of childhood that can often provide children with the impetus to create their own forms of entertainment and just plain fun. This is the boredom that Walter Benjamin described years ago as the “dream bird that hatches the egg of experience.”11 But there may also be an unnatural, culturally induced, new form of boredom that follows too much digital stimulation. This form of boredom may de-animate children in such a fashion as to prevent them from wanting to explore and create real-world experiences for themselves, particularly outside their rooms, houses, and schools. As Steiner-Adair wrote, “If they become addicted to playing on screens,12 children will not know how to move through that fugue state they call boredom, which is often a necessary prelude to creativity.” It would be an intellectual shame to think that in the spirit of giving our children as much as we can through the many creative offerings of the latest, enhanced e-books and technological innovations, we may inadvertently deprive them of the motivation and time necessary to build their own images of what is read and to construct their own imaginative off-line worlds that are the invisible habitats of childhood. Such cautions are neither a matter of nostalgic lament nor an exclusion of the powerful, exciting uses of the child’s imagination fostered by technology. We will return to such uses a little later. Nor should worries over a “lost childhood” be dismissed as a cultural (read Western) luxury. What of the real lost childhoods? one might ask, in which the daily struggle to survive trumps everything else? Those children are never far from my thoughts or my work every day of my life.
Maryanne Wolf (Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World)