First off, a confession. This writer is a gadget junkie. The more conveniences and entertaining uses offered by smart phones, laptop computers, video games and other devices, the better.
That being said, there is no doubt a downside to the Digital Age. The use of electronic devices for social networking and other forms of communication has in some ways made it easier to keep in touch with friends, family and business associates, but at the same time has created an emotional disconnect in our society.
Step on any bus, plane or train and you will find less people talking to each other and more people with their noses stuck into the electronic device of the day. Friendships are reduced to Facebook updates rather than one-on-one time.
This trend is not without its advantages. It has, in effect, made the world a smaller place. One can book tickets, make banking transactions, and make business deals while on the go, making it possible to take your office with you while traveling. And maybe even keep yourself entertained by playing Angry Birds.
But where this is most concerning is when it affects our children. Take a walk down a street in a residential neighbourhoood and you no longer hear the sounds of children playing like you used to. It is not uncommon to find young people inside playing video games on a beautiful summer day.
Even schools have had to ban electronic devices for various reasons, many observing children not engaging in physical activity during their recess and lunch breaks, but rather roaming around the schoolyard playing with their PSP or Nintendo DS.
There is no doubt this trend contributes directly to the obesity epidemic, and it is up to us as parents to not only guide our children towards healthier lifestyles, but to lead by example.