Sunday, 7 July 2013

A game of tennis?...You mean online?

What's happened to the days where kids played on bikes, scooters and skateboards? Staring at the same mundane view out of my window for the past 10 years has changed quite significantly. Of course you got a few scraped elbows and knees, but there was nothing more exciting - and terrifying - than skidding at what felt like 100mph down a rather steep hill on my roller-blades  Gone are the days where I used to kick my neon orange football in next doors perfectly planted garden every ten minutes. In are the days where kids have consoles firmly super-glued into their hands with eyeballs that resemble that off a 90's cartoon - giant swirls.

You would think that the Olympics would have driven a surge of energy throughout the younger generation – getting them up on their feet and embracing sport. Wimbledon has already started and – compared to the past – I have seen nobody outside running around with tennis rackets in their hands. Instead their fingers reach for shoot ‘em ups. You think that the amount of hour’s kid’s clock up playing on football games would spur something in them to actually look at real life football. No sir-ee I have seen none of that either!

Granted, there may be several other reasons as to why children don’t play outside – including safety. However, there aren't many kids that I see nowadays that don’t sit completely absorbed in a giant bubble of Ipods, games and Facebook, completely oblivious to the outside world. A bubble I would happily volunteer to pop. Ask them a question and you’ll get grunt of agreement that secretly implies ‘CANT YOU SEE I’M DOING SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT.’ That more important being editing their profile snaps on Instagram and asking for ‘likes’ on photographs.

I for one am guilty of using Instagram and social networking sites. Maybe it’s because I'm 22 years old and slightly more mature – something I try to convince myself in my head – but the thought of actually playing these computer sports games in a real life scenario fills them with fear. In reality, children are more likely to tweet whilst kicking a football around and afterwards upload an image of it to Facebook.

Getting off the bus from school, children no longer say, ‘Shall I meet you in half hour at the park?’ and more likely ‘Shall I meet you in half hour online?’ It’s astounding how friendships have evolved into a virtual relationship.
At the risk of sounding ancient and set in my ways writing this article, I should explain that I love technology. However, when the suns shining beautifully – like today – why not go out in the crisp fresh air and open space? When you’re watching your favourite football team, why not get your kit on and do a few kick-ups?

Oh look Andy Murrays won – I feel slightly inspired to... play a virtual game of tennis. 

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