when children are around

Maybe I’m turning into a grumpy old fart, particularly as I bemoan the widespread, obsessive use of “smart” phones, which, I fear, may just be making everyone a wee bit dumber, not to mention more self obsessed.

But surely what I witnessed last week is something that should have us all raising our heads from the screen with a collective WTF:

I was riding my bike through Gates Park in Port Coquitlam when I spotted a small girl, maybe five or six years old, sitting on one of the side paths next to the main trail, with no one in sight, just across from the forested area and river. pandora earrings I looked around to see if I had somehow just failed to spot a caregiver but could see no one anywhere, so I stopped and asked her if she was OK and if she was with someone.

I had to ask her to repeat her response as I was certain I couldn’t have heard her correctly. She said: “My mom has gone to catch a Pokmon.” When I looked around again, I could see, quite a distance away, a woman had appeared on the trail heading back towards us she’d previously not been visible, so I assume she’d been around the bend or in the brush or up a tree, for all I know. I I asked the girl if that was her mom and she said yes, so I continued my ride.

The Pokmon playing mom had the sense to look a bit embarrassed as we crossed paths a minute later.

Leaving a little girl unsupervised in an area where there can be bears, not to mention the potential of dodgy characters hanging out by the river, is certainly negligent.

But there’s another concern for me and it’s the same one I have every time I see a parent with a young child in a store or a coffee shop or wherever and it’s obvious the adult is more interested in connecting to their phone than to their child: What will it mean for a child’s development if she grows up believing that electronic interaction matters more than authentic human interaction? What is a child learning about the world and her place in it when a cute virtual monster is more important than she is?

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