Imagination: No Batteries Required

Yesterday, my son pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and started to make a phone call. I was intrigued, and then I watched as he folded the paper up and then unfolded it, and sent a text. Finally, after yet another fold and unfold, he watched a little television. All this from a piece of paper.

I asked if he wouldn’t mind re-enacting the use of his paper device for me for a video collage. (The image at the bottom is a closeup of some of the “screens”)

I admit: I have some conflicting emotions about what he had created. On one hand, I love when his imagination comes into play. I realized that I had been watching him make the paper device while I was cooking dinner but didn’t know what he was up to. He took it on himself to work it out and to play with it. I love that kind of independent play, and he was also eager to share with me.

On the other hand … it’s an indication of how infused electronics are on our world. We limit television and screen time (although we admittedly struggle mightily with that with our older boys) but when you see the heart of “play” revolving around the replication of a screen that he can’t use, it makes me feel odd, as if it were imagination wasted. I know that this is not the case — that imaginative time is what it is, and should be treasured. And we take steps forward. Today, he replicates what he knows. Maybe tomorrow, he creates the unknown.

One can hope.

Peace (on the paper),
Kevin

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2 Comments
  1. Good Morning Kevin, I wonder if that worry about technology over-integration will ever go away – or if it’s generational – or if it’s necessary. I’ve watched my kids do the same thing, but they always surprise me with preferring personal engagement over technology in the end. My students are the same. Given the opportunity to go out for a bite to eat or play video games, they prefer the socialization of a meal.

    The optimist in me has hope that technology will eventually be viewed as a given by future generations so they can continue to dismiss it as they like, not letting it affect their imaginations.

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