If we had a power outage for a really, really long time, how would you
fare? Really...could you go a really, really long time with out your
computer, TV, cell phone over, say, your refrigerator? If you had
access to a super powered generator what would you turn on? In other
words, what would you find "essential" - things like refrigerators, the
stove and perhaps a light or two...or technology.
A recent article in USA Today
is quite illuminating. It turns out that many people, adult people, are
so hooked on technology that in the case of a massive power outage they
would actually put their lives and those of their kids at huge risk by
turning on things like video games over truly essential items like
lights and a refrigerator by running the games in a closed garage.
The USA Today article points out the highlights of a new study in this month's Pediatrics
about the dangers of gas-powered generators. The study notes that after
Hurricane Ike, an ER in Houston treated 37 people from
gas-generator-related carbon monoxide poisoning. Of those people, 54%
were under the age of 18 and 75% of this group were playing video games.
study highlights that our sense of "what is essential" has become
skewed towards all that is plugged in. If our kids can not deal without
technology for a bit, if we can not deal without technology for a bit,
it's time we took a collective big step back and realized that we
actually can. It will feel strange and foreign for a day or so but life
will go on because our "essentials"...food, shelter, oxygen,