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The Digital vs. the Real World: How to Balance Both

May 03, 2019


Jane David

The world is constantly changing in many different ways. We’d like to take a moment and talk about one aspect that has some people, and a lot of parents, worried. Today’s children and adults spend a large portion of every day staring at a screen, whether it’s a  high-def television, laptop, video game, or smartphone.

Should we be concerned? Keep reading.


The West Virginia Education Association found in their article, that teens spend approximately nine hours per day with “digital technology, entertaining themselves with streaming video, listening to music, and playing games.”

The net result is that kids spend more time engaged in screen-based media than they do with their parents, time in school, or anything else.

We are all connected, courtesy of the internet, and while there are certainly many important benefits to that, there are some experiences we are sacrificing.


We found another recent interesting article on the subject of parents who were concerned over their children and teens’ overuse of smartphones and other digital devices.

Which brings up the issue of kids’ short attention span, about which parents and teachers have expressed concern. Studies have shown that while kids believe they can multi-task i.e. do their homework while texting, it’s not possible.

The digital world operates in nanoseconds; learning a skill or indulging in a hobby, on the other hand, takes time.  


We believe we are in an era where some things are out of balance, meaning we’re spending too much time engaged in digitally-driven activities and not enough on real-life experiences.  We all recognize that the internet provides unparalleled benefits which are recognized by educators.

If a child needs to know how far Pluto is from Earth, the answer is only a few clicks away. Or, if a child wants to know how to play the guitar, they can easily find a video showing someone playing. But that’s not a real-life experience; no YouTube video can replace physically strumming guitar strings.

So if parents and teachers are concerned, what should they do?


Here’s an idea: how about changing a day from a ‘digital day’ to a ‘real day’, where, say, kids and parents spend some time at a local farm picking apples. (We offer plenty of outdoor games and activities!)


We at Toys Games Puzzles have never strayed from our belief that real live indoor and outdoor play like games, puzzles, and toys without digital components, provide a much-needed balance in kids’ everyday lives.

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