Imagine that we invent and perfect time-travel… You travel back to the year 1978, and find me at Walton high school where I have just started my freshman year. You present to me this thin, flat, plastic box with a glass face. Interested, I ask you what it is, and you tell me, “On this little device you can watch, listen, play, order, buy, read, talk, text, email, and search, for anything you want. You can even ask it any question you have, and it will answer you, and even call you by name.” I reply, “What’s an email?” You explain, oh, you can talk to anyone on the planet, real time, and you can be in communication with all your friends anytime you want, day or night.” I ask, “What can I watch?” to which you reply, “Anything the human race has ever filmed or recorded– no boundaries, no limits.” I say, “Anything?” and you explain, “Yes, all you have to do is ask, and it doesn’t judge, your wish is its command.” I continue, “Does everyone have one, or just me?” The answer amazes me: “No, almost every human being on Earth will have one.” I dig deeper, “Where do I have to keep this miracle machine?” and you reply “Right there in your pocket, you can use it anytime you like, and no one will ever know what you choose to do with it.” With my hands trembling, I take this little device and quickly put it in my pocket, while I make sure nobody sees me, as I am afraid that someone will try to take it from me.” Disappointed, I declare, “There is no way that I can afford an instrument like that.” To my amazement, you say, “All this can be yours for about $1 a day.” You hand it over, and disappear back to into the future.
Would you be able to handle this at 14 years old? All that power right at your finger tips? I know I couldn’t have. I couldn’t even handle 1978 temptations very well at that age… Maybe we should give this young generation a bit of a break, and walk with them a while, get into their world, and try to understand the pressure and anxiety of this bold, new, technological age– one that they have never been without. Just telling them, “Don’t touch, don’t look, don’t listen, and don’t play” isn’t working. Let’s get involved in the conversation– and also look in the mirror and ask ourselves, as grown folks, how we are using this little “Dream Machine” in OUR pockets. Young minds are overloaded and bombarded with information like never before– and they need some relief. See you on the field.