No electronics, no problem

Lee's Summit JournalFebruary 21, 2014 

Some people ask, “What would happen if an Electromagnetic Bomb, known as an E-bomb, went off?” I ask, “What would happen if we just turned electronics went off?”

Someone I know recently celebrated no electronics night at their house, and you know what? The world didn’t end. They didn’t starve to death. There was no looting the pantry. There were no riots anywhere in the home. They played games with the kids, the kids played together and dare I say it? They survived. Oh there was one minor skirmish but apparently the flames were quickly put out.

Sure we fought as kids. We fought over who was going to be the good guys and who would be the bad guys. We fought over who would be the banker. We fought over the one toy gun because the rest would have to use something called a “stick.” We didn’t have electronic games and computers to create our plans for the fort because we didn’t need plans. We found some old wood, borrowed a hammer and nails and into the woods we went. Yes, into the creepy old poison-ivy, bug-infested woods. None of us died and we only got minor injuries on occasion. When we couldn’t go out, we built a fort inside.

Times changed when electronic technology started really taking off. I was working with grade school kids one summer when I realized they didn’t want to go outside anymore. Many of them were sitting around playing Gameboys. Those who weren’t playing were sitting around watching those who were. The kids were looking bored when I told them to go play. They did. They sat around in a circle playing their hand held games.

Research has shown that families that eat together stay together. I used to work with young children and at lunch time we were told to have lunch family style to encourage this “family” cohesiveness. My question was always, “If this is family style, where’s the TV? Where are the iPhones, iPads and iPods? Where are the DS’s? And why are we sitting around the table?” Oh, they meant family style that went out with transistor radios, Disco, Walkman’s and ten speed bikes.

Another problem with technology is it cost so much and makes us angry. We buy the latest gadget and it breaks we cry. We play the latest video game, we die we scream we play again. We bring home the iPhone 34 and after we finally download the new apps, the iPhone 35 goes on sale. We cheer on the new and latest technology so we can see what our friends all over the country are doing and then have to worry about the government seeing what we are doing.

I was going to make my own kids go outside and play the other day when I remembered the day I made those grade school kids go outside and play the now banned game of dodge ball. They loved it so much they begged for one more game. I finally gave in. The first throw went over my head. I turned, tripped and fell and broke my hand in three places and tore a tendon. Hmm, I forgot about that. “Hey kids, go outside without me.” I think I’ll just stay inside and get on my laptop and try to beat another level of Candy Crush.

What would happen if an E bomb went off? It would be disastrous. We couldn’t hear our favorite music in an instant. We couldn’t watch our favorite movie in an instant. We couldn’t play our favorite game in an instant. We might have to add up our paycheck in our head and for heaven’s sake we might even have to talk to another human being in our day to day life including our family. That would be awful.

I think once in a while we should all play a game called “Pretend the E bomb went off” and enjoy the simple life for an evening. We might actually learn to love it. Besides, it’s a good idea for those cold winter evenings.

 

Denny Craft is a freelance writer/humorist and has just completed the book, “Cats Lay Eggs.”

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