Addiction or Healthy Alternative

My source for things to post on my Facebook page (see link on the right) provided me with the following graphic this morning:

video gamesVideo games is one of my “soap box” subjects. So many people are addicted to video games. They play them to “unwind and escape” from the daily routine — or so they say. I will be the first to admit that not everybody is addicted to video games. But even if you’re not, you have to wonder if it’s a healthy way to spend (waste) your time.

While playing these games you are closing yourself off from the people around you. There has been tons research on the effects of not having contact with other human beings. It isn’t healthy. Lack of human contact can cause all manner of mental and emotional scars. There is even some evidence to suggest that staring at video screens contributes to ADHD and other brain function disorders. Any addiction will cause social disorders.

I’m also concerned with the way people these days seem to have a need to be “plugged in” to electronic devices 24/7. Cell phones have made it possible to be connected to the world no matter where you are or what you’re doing. We aren’t allowed to have even one minute to ourselves any more! Our brains are “switched on” and ready to respond to everything that vies for our attention. How many of our children have cell phones and are texting their friends in the middle of the night when they would normally be sleeping? We are scared to death to simply turn off our devices and ignore them, for fear that we will miss something important. It wasn’t that long ago that all I had was a phone attached to the wall. No cell, no internet, no devices, no computer. Somehow I managed to survive. We thought all those gadgets would simplify our lives, so we bought into them. But life is more complicated now.

Do you want a better alternative than video games to relax? Go outside and lie in the grass and listen to the wind. Or the neighbor’s lawn mower, if you live in the suburbs. Dip your toes in a stream and listen to your own thoughts. Go ahead and think your own thoughts. A massage is also a great alternative. You can have the nurturing and safe touch of another human being. You can turn off your phone and allow your thoughts to drift. You can hear yourself think.

Wouldn’t that feel nice right about now?

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