I remember – with an admittedly nostalgic reflection – those days of my childhood when digital distractions were not present in my life. Many probably see this developing habit of saying how great the past was as a sign that I am getting older, but I have serious reasons to believe this is not yet the case!
The days in the “carefree past of my youth” are somehow an index of how today’s digital and multimedia technology has affected our ability to be focused, or mindful or conscious or alert, with a clear mind and thought processes; choose the term you wish, it’s all the same problem really.
So, back in those “carefree” days, a person had more time to contemplate, simply because she wasn’t so easily tempted by the digital world that exists today. No tablets, smartphones, video games, internet games, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, chatrooms, online streaming movies, you name it. Back in those days, a child had to employ her/his creativity in order to play with simple toys, like dolls, or cars, or water colours, or even read a book.
In the summers, the afternoon siesta was almost a law, and children knew that even if they stayed awake, they had to be extra quiet in order to respect the other family members’ sleep. During these silent afternoons, children were developing strategies to pass the time, until the moment they would play again. They would read, draw or invent stories using the shadows on the walls created by the sunny rays inside the closed curtains. They would observe the foraging of an ant in search for food, or they would play with their sticker, stamp or coin collection.