From hands and feet to two thumbs – how a digital world has replaced the outdoors.

In a time not too long ago, in an age that existed before the invention of phone apps and tablets – children enjoyed the outdoors. Now it seems, more often than not, the adventures that once were had – making mud pies and swinging from trees – have been replaced by adventures in a virtual world.

You can’t go anywhere this day in age without seeing faces lit up by an incandescent, off blue, glow. People walking around like zombies, with their faces nearly embedded into their phones, neglecting the world that is going on around them. What kind of example are we setting for our children Where does the limit between too much media time and not enough face to face time (for all you Apple geeks) exist? Our kids are growing up in a world where it’s socially acceptable to text a friend or fling a bird across the sky while a person, sitting directly across from you, divulges their ideas in conversation. We’ve almost become numb to the fact that people even do this anymore. Over time our kids have gone from social activities on the playground – that provided social development – to screen to screen contact, where the connection between two people only exists somewhere in the ether.

Now is the time kids get back on the playground equipment, bicycles, hula hoops, and trampolines, and take time away from the screen. Now is the time to experience the outdoors as it was meant to be – going from just two thumbs, to using both arms and legs.

Play stands for Promoting Lifetime Activity for Youth What better way to do that than with playground slides, basketball and hopskotch? Or yet play environments that encourage social development and cognitive development. It’s time for real world communication, where kids can actually be involved with the universe around them, make friendships that last and develop an ideology that the real world provides far more than a virtual world ever could.

Perhaps we are on the cusp of a change about to happen. Perhaps people will inevitably become tired of the phones and the tablets and travel0 back to a time that was far more primitive. Maybe we’ll start seeing kids and parents riding bikes again. Maybe we’ll see a stone being skipped across the lake. Maybe outdoor play equipment will become the new local hangout spot, where friendships are made and unfortunately sometimes broken. Perhaps, Maybe, just perhaps we’ll get back to the real world again. A life where this world we live in is all we’ve got – and the only one that matters.