Why are kids spending so much time indoors today? Well, obviously, there’s the lockdown order that’s going on in several countries, but this isn’t something recent. For years now, we’ve seen this recurring complaint from parents who see their kids not going out for fun anymore.
Does this look familiar?
When John Surko lists off reasons why grandparents keep ranting how kids aren’t doing the same thing they used to, Mitchell Jorstad decided to show them a picture. A picture that most of us are familiar with – developed area where less space is free and safe enough for kids to loiter and play around.
“I thought this was my hometown for a second.”
The tweet was taken to Tumblr, where users discussed just how different the environment is, not the kids. Kids have always been the same; it’s not like they can evolve over 20 years of time to prefer staying indoor.
The irony of how things just aren’t conducive to encourage kids to go out.
Users pitch in how multiple experts have been explaining that kids DO want to go outside.
The book ‘Because Internet‘ was quoted by Tumblr in explaining what’s going on. It gave the nod to the fact that teenagers are hanging around on social media way more than ever, but “studies consistently show that most teens would rather hang out with their friends in person.”
The love for social media was because of the “fun” interactions (stickers, reaction features, etc.)
The book quotes that teens are “addicted to each other” instead of social media because their life is now jam-packed with activities. Not to mention that society has a negative impression towards grouping adolescents “loitering” around.
Seriously, you want to go out, but you do not want them to loiter around? What are they supposed to do outside then?
Danah Boyd, who also wrote a book on the topic, clarified in her book ‘It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens‘ that parents have misconceptions about what teens and kids prefer in terms of socializing. Despite the parental complaints, she found out that teens “repeatedly indicated that they would much rather get together with friends in person.”
Kids prefer informal situations to hang out with friends, not in classrooms or during after-school activities.
Among the things stopping youngsters from being adventurous like the old times were “parental fear, lack of transportation options, and heavily structured lives.” But it’s complex – there are way too many things stopping teenagers from socializing with their peers in person without adults on the clock 24/7 to ever allow “casual sociality” to occur.
One user shared how being homeless just meant she was out all the time – but the adults hated them for it anyways.
But it’s different for adults – they are allowed to go out wherever, whenever and not be restricted by boundaries such as curfew or parental restrictions.
This is why John Surico’s tweet sums up that there’s a whole lot more behind kids preferring Minecraft or Roblox to getting out and getting dirty.
The question is whether parents are even allowing things to happen naturally instead of creating the ‘perfect’ situation for kids to socialize and have fun?