Are we scared of the outdoors?
Natural is out, virtual is in. Communing with nature is pass?.
This was the result of 3 independents studies in the US, Japan and Spain. People all over are spending less and less time in the great outdoors. And the Internet may just be one of the reasons.
Since 1991, outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing have been on the decline, up to 25% drop. The reasons behind this decline are many and complex but the major ones are as follows:
Technology – the rapid advancement in technology gave us the Internet, TV, video games, and other multimedia playthings – things that keep us indoors more than before.
Fear – Personal security is also a big issue as more and more parents put their children under protective house arrest. Fear of crime, wild animals, diseases – these are all keeping us indoors. Except that danger doesn’t necessarily lurk outside. The Internet makes everyone vulnerable wherever they may be.
Cost – Enjoying nature is also getting costly. Park fees are on the rise and not every one can afford camping gear. Plus, time off from work can also have some financial consequences.
I think we parents owe it to our children to introduce them to nature. We don’t need to follow the footsteps of the Swiss Family Robinson and sacrifice our well-organized urban life styles. It need not be expensive – a walk in the park, a trip to the zoo, a picnic in the countryside, a day at the seaside may be enough. We simply need to teach our kids that the trees and the flowers are best enjoyed by touching and smelling and not simply by watching Discovery Channel on an LCD screen.
Biello D. Scientific American. 5 Feb 2008