Growing up, I spent ten idyllic summers at a YMCA camp on Howe Sound.
When I worked my way up to Senior Staff, I learned part of the camp’s Oral History => prior to the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking, the camp used to sell cigarettes in its Tuck Shop.
My boss at the time, told me it went further.
We used to teach kids to smoke.
Keep in mind the camp was run by the Young Men’s Christian Association – these were good people, trying to help a wide range of kids.
The story reminds me to keep my eyes open for obvious harms, accepted by everybody.
Current practice can be completely clueless.
Vaping “it will shift people from smoking” is an obvious example. A handful of entrepreneurs hooked a generation of young people before anyone noticed.
Less obvious is the introduction of electronics, and social media, into the lives of our children. My kids have been staring at screens since preschool. COVID institutionalized screens into the daily lives of our children.
Here’s what I’ve told our oldest, now in Middle School.
- You don’t want to spend your life doing sexy dances for strange boys and men (TicToc) => who’s on the other side of the screen?
- There’s no such thing as digital privacy – it does not exist
- You will need to make a choice => do I want to get stuff done, or stare at screens (IG, Snap, Among Us)
- Your mother and I saw what it was doing to us and stopped
- Exercise makes you happy – I point this out after every good workout
Similar to conversations I expect to be having on sex, drugs and alcohol… I had to get my own life in order before I attempted to teach my kids.
Who am I really trying to impress? Following a path of external approval creates a never ending cycle of “more” (likes, followers, stuff, money, food, victories). Where is “more” going to take me?
Fastest way to boost health and self-confidence?
- Positive Action => a habit of daily exercise
- Via Negativa => ax the Social Media
Right now, your mother and I are making smart choices for you. Soon, it will be up to you.
- January saw me cut my screen time in half. Pretty impressive from a single workflow change and deleting two phone apps.
- My eyesight improved.
- Less eMail/Twitter is far easier than less “news”.