Times change, and as I am still very young, it should be difficult for me to trace developments in things such as Christmas presents over time but… as we discussed somewhere else, the pace of development in the 21st century is very fast. Therefore, let me reflect a bit on Christmas presents this year.
When I was younger, we got Lego and Playmobil stuff…the good thing was, that it comparatively cheap., so there were lots and lots of presents under the Christmas tree, yay! Of course, when you become older, things change. Presents grow larger and less. But no matter what, Christmas in our family still involves a lot of presents. How much Playmobil can I buy for the cost of one iPod? How lonely does one small present looks under the Christmas tree? Very. When you turn like 16 or 18, that is probably okay, but with 10? I got my first iPod with 22, my first mobile phone with 14 and my first computer with 12, but bought it myself.
I was talking to a friend of mine, what he is gonna buy his kids for Christmas. These kids are around or below 10 years old. And he told me, that he is going to buy a Playstation Portable because they already have computer, a Wii and a Playstation as well as well as an iPod. Not worth mentioning that the mobile phone is there for a long time already. I was wondering…is it because times change? I am not sure… by beloved students would answer ‘that’s all because of cultural imperialism, the US boys create a need that is why we have to buy!’. I would respond then ‘Partly true but I think it it technological determinism, technology makes us buy it!’.
I had my Super Nintendo and later then my Computer. What more did I need? Why should I buy a Wii, a PSP and a Playstation 3? Because there are different games for them? I do not see the need. Why not chose one and then stick to it? Do we really have to buy everything? Of course, our kids will say ‘if I don’t get that, the kids in school will not like me anymore!’. Well, good one but hey: Do they all have a Wii, a PSP and a Xbox? If so… I am impressed by the patience of the parents.
Reading my blog, you should know my stand on technologies. Thus, it my be curious when I say: I would not buy my kids all of these things. Talking about the age of 10 or maybe 12, they should have a mobile phone (for security reasons) and access to the family computer. If they want, they can then chose between ONE console OR a computer for their own pleasure. Not more. I don’t see the point in having all these things because the truth is that either they do not go out anymore or they do not really value the things they have. Someone has to strike a balance there.
Don’t wanna destroy the Christmas present but I think your kids will also appreciate ‘just some games for their existing console’ or a basketball or other things. It does not always have to be a tablet computer, a third console or a laptop where a computer exists. Do we really ask ourselves then why technologies become so important for our children that they cry over Facebook status changes when we lead by bad example making technologies the only worthy Christmas present? That is hypocrite.
Technologies are important for the future career but sports, board games and other things show our children a lot of things, technologies cannot. Therefore: Buy smart and keep your children in an equilibrium of technology and nature.
Happy 4th advent!