The Couch Potato Complex

Hi everyone! How many of the following have you already done?

  •  Maglaro ng tex at pog
  • Magbasa ng comics sa Bazooka
  • Bumili ng paper dolls sa katabing sari-sari store
  • Magbaril-barilan gamit ang pellet gun
  • Magsuot ng butterfly hairpin at rings (‘yung pinauso ni Jolina)
  • Magpaputok ng watusi tuwing New Year
  • Magipon at makipagpalitan ng Tsukuba stationary
  • Maglaro ng Brick Game at Tamagochi
  • Magpabili ng Barbie, Polly Pocket, at Troll Collection

  • Magsayaw ng Macarena at Asereje
  • Manuod ng Power Rangers, Ninja Turtle, Dragon Ball Z at Ghost Fighter
  • Kumanta ng “Boltes Payb, lima sila. Umulan ng patola…
  • Kiligin kay Jolina at Marvin, Juday at Wowie
  • Maglaro ng ten-twenti, jackstone, Dr. Kwak-kwak, bang-sak, at pepsi-seven up

If you have done at least three of these, then you’re a 90s kid! And luckily, I am too!

Oh, I miss those days!

WHERE HAVE THE KIDS GONE?

I beg your pardon, but I have to agree. If curiosity killed the cat, then technology killed the kids. How often do you see kids play patintero, piko, tagu-taguan, and dodge ball these days? Rarely.

Instead, you see most of them sitting on the couch with earphones plugged and eyes glued to the computer screen. There seems to be no other way for them to enjoy their time but spend it like that. I received a text message from a friend last week that says:

Bored. Walang internet.

Does the internet have to define your life? Oh come on. Real life starts when you go offline!

Yes, technology helped reduce noise pollution in our streets, but, it killed the “KID” in kids. Thinking of this, I can’t help but remember this striking scene from one of my favorite Pixar films:

Too much of convenience, eh?

THE INEVITABLE

Talking about the real,  no,  the adult world, we guys are pretty much in the same situation with the kids: glued to the computer. But this time, it’s because we have too.

We go online because we have to make researches, attend our group’s YM (Yahoo! Messenger) conference for a project, check and send emails, prepare a presentation, and finish a paper — case in point, thesis.

This holds true not only among college students, but also among office workers. We have pretty much the same routine during working hours: work, coffee break, work, lunch, work, coffee break, work.

I work better with a cup of coffee in hand.

Recognizing the health issues surrounding the use of technology, companies started implementing programs that would address the growing concern for the health of employees. In the advertising agency I worked for during my summer internship, they offered free aerobics, yoga and dancing sessions every week. Yahoo! Philippines once featured unique office spaces in Metro Manila which have facilities, such as a boxing ring and a mini gym, to address the same concern.

(Just a little trivia. My high school friend was the videographer for this one. I’m so proud of him!)

COUCH POTATO OR NOT?

The good news is, WE HAVE A CHOICE — kids and adults alike.

The advancements in technology are meant to make our lives easier. They work for us; not the other way around.

Parents should monitor the way their kids spend their time. It will be better if they encourage them to also experience the stuff they did when they were still young: climb a tree (which I never learned how), win a game of patintero, play basketball, etc. Organizations on the other hand, have to consider the welfare of their employees. Kudos to the organizations who have already done their part in addressing this concern! As for workaholic employees and college students,we should monitor our lifestyle.

This is not just an issue of health. This is an issue of moderation and technological dependency.

Technology is God’s gift. USE IT WISELY.

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11 thoughts on “The Couch Potato Complex

  1. truelaloo! ahaha! I remember back then my siblings and I always looked forward 4pm. It was the time when we can go out and play! We weren’t allowed to go out if the clock hasn’t reached 4pm because normally it would still be hot outside here in the Philippines. We would go biking, taguan, habulan, and many other games we could come up to! I always had bruises all over my body because of our misadventures! haha! Very fun childhood indeed!

    Anyway, I wrote an article on my blog about a health hazard brought by the excessive use of new technology. you can check it out at http://thecommedian.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/why-blogging-is-hazardous-to-men/

    enjoy! 😀

    • Are you kidding me? HAHAHA til 4pm? I was practically living outside our house and just stayed inside to sleep, eat, take a bath, poo…etc 😀

      Anyway, I also agree that to some extent, technology “killed” the kids, but the rich ones. I wish that were the case in our neighborhood so it would be a little quieter. To my disappointment, kids are still outside here. HAHAHA, I just hate it when they play dodge ball without pausing, even when there’s a passerby -ay sige kasali ako sa laro?!

  2. This is classic!! I can still remember the good old days when I will sneak from my lola to avoid the “mandatory afternoon nap” (which she kept insisting would make me taller haha) just to play agawan-base with my friends. I miss the days when I will get dirty from running and playing outside all day. haha! 🙂
    Kids today have a totally different idea of “play”. Most of kids will busy themselves in front of the computer or the iPad, catapulting birds in order to destroy pig-protecting infrastructures. As much as these technologies delight these kids, I wouldn’t want my (future) children (yehes!!) to be couch potatoes haha!! You got that right that it’s really a matter of choice and balance between online and offline fun! Cheers!

  3. It also saddens me that kids nowadays are so techie. What happened to the awesome childhood that our generation experienced? 😦

    Oh well, these changes are really inevitable and we have to accept them. However, accepting does not mean embracing both the positive and negative effects of technology and social media. It is about striking a balance and, like what you mentioned, using technology wisely.

    Coincidentally, I have a blog post discussing this issue. You can read it here: http://thatorcomgirl.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/the-kids-are-online/ 😉

  4. Being in front of the computer for several hours a day really poses a threat to the over-all health and well-being of users. My mom, for one, had a carpal tunnel syndrome attributed to the long typing hours she spends in the office. (Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition wherein the hands hurt and feel numb due to compression of nerves in the wrist/hand region. My mom had to go an operation a few years ago.)

    It would then help if we take short pauses whenever we type and exercise our wrists and hands once in a while to avoid similar illnesses. 🙂

  5. “They work for us; not the other way around.” Yes, Ms. Erica Roberta. That is ideal. However, according to Marshall McLuhan, technology has the ability to create its own demands. We are turned into servomechanisms of technology. It’s only when we can anticipate what the technology can do to us that we can offset its bad effects. Anyway, so much for being academic.

    I wish kids would have the childhood we had. Too bad today they can’t just run around and focus on human interaction with their neighbors and friends. Now it’s all about the computer and TV. Now it’s more of the relationships built online. I wish there was more of a balance. Or not. It’d be good for kids to be just kids, you know?

  6. Nice post, Erica! And I am surprised that this is my first comment on your blog.HAHA

    I partially agree in that quotation above. Slightly because I think “Technology killed SOME of the kids.” It’s true that most kids today are reliant to technology for entertainment, case in point, my brother who is glued to his PSP the whole day, but we have to admit that there are some kids who know how to make use of it wisely. The tech generations can either generate indolent kids and child geniuses who understand how technology works at a young age. And in fact, some kids learn various things easily online (given that their parents are very serious in guiding them). And maybe the kid in some “died” because all their playmates have been glued to the computer screen to.

    Aside from the increasing risks in kids’ health with only their fingers to exercise, they also turn some to introverts. Sad, but true. But, as adults, we should have a shared responsibility in guiding these kids towards responsible use of technology.

    Cheers! 😉

  7. I agree. Little by little, technology is killing the natural childhood framework that we all used to have. No more childhood barkada because one can just spend the whole day with a PSP. No more old school games like maiba-taya, langit-lupa and tagu-taguan. Children today just need a gadget and he’ll be fine.

    However it’s sometimes unfair to blame technology per se. Parents should still be responsible into how their kids are getting access to these gadgets. At the end of the day, parents lead their kids into how they want them to be.

    • Yes, Luj. The way children grow still depends on their parents.

      Now that we are aware of this issue, I hope that we, as parents in the future, would be cautious as to what extent we’ll let our future children make use of technology.

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