What ever happened to the days when you would lose power and – get ready for it – sit in the dark and find something better to do?
When I would lose power as a child, I needed nothing more than a classic board game (Clue being my favorite to play in the dark), or coupled with some props, let my imagination do the rest. Conversely, the fresh souls of today’s youth have been consumed by battery-powered technological gadgets. Just the other day, my 10-year-old cousin was complaining that she didn’t have a charger for her iPod touch, and as it was dying, didn’t have her cell phone to keep her busy.
Upon first ensuring the safety of our loved ones, it were these types of things that had us all not-so-secretly cheering for the pitch black power outages that lined the East Coast. Many feel the same way as me; how come a ‘life unplugged’ is so dire now-a-days?
How has blackout behavior among our younger generation become so eerily sophisticated?
This archaic lifestyle is so unfamiliar that today, a mother takes significant pride in her children “adapting” to do such things as reading by candlelight and engaging in imaginative play. This was the case for Marjorie Ingall, a writer in the East Village, who in the beginning of her outage experience, “was full of maternal pride” as her children did such things as cut out paper dolls and put their childlike noggins to use.
What may be one of only a handful of times for some of these “affected” adolescents, they had to actually communicate face-to-face. As a recent New York Times article points out, “the storm provided a rare glimpse of life lived offline. It drove some children crazy, while others managed to embrace the experience of a digital slowdown. It also produced some unexpected ammunition for parents already eager to curb the digital obsessions of their children.”
Katie O’Laughlin also comments on this untimely opportunity, where she reports on how Sandy spiked creativity in adults staying connected during the outage period. “Our reliance on technology has grown to the point that personal communication devices are not luxuries, but necessities and the difficulties one encounters when a device isn’t working can be an inconvenience at best and life threatening at worst,” she wrote.
Some in the Big Apple crossed boroughs by foot to plug their gadgets into energized electrical outlets, while others are taking advantage of “mobile stations” appearing in various locations in the city “to give those in need an easy and free way to charge their phones,” according to Digital Trends. Earlier this year, a consumer survey by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) revealed that out of 1,000 people, 21 percent said they would give up sex to keep the Internet on for one year.
Above, an image depicting the entire survey results via CBS News.
Some think this is going too far, and it’s very telling of today’s times and perhaps Americans’ unhealthy reliance on technology. Are we too fragile or vulnerable to remain undistracted for a few days or so to reflect rather on the basics of life – even if that means being kept in the dark for a little longer than desired?
Edited by Braden Becker