Although my kids have full reign over our backyard kingdom, they still lament feeling imprisoned by COVID-19. They want to go places and do things with other people, preferably with friends, not their parents or siblings.
I can’t blame them. I’m always on the lookout for an escape, even if my getaway is the occasional trip to Walmart. Zoom meetings at least give me a chance to interact with other humans face-to-face.
Most “adults” have the luxury of accessing technology that allows for a little socialization with a lot of social distancing.
My older kids have “some” of this. Ella, 14, and Katie, 12, are at smartphone age. They’re responsible with their smartphones, they rarely lose them, and, with the exception of a few screen protector replacements, their phones never break beyond simple repairs.
My two youngest kids are not at smartphone-age even if they insist they’re smartphone-ready. In her defense, I feel pretty confident that Sadie, 10, could handle a smartphone, or “phon-ership” as we call it. Like her older sisters, she seems slightly more mature and responsible than most kids her age.
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/07/online-video-games-help-kids-socialize/ (may encounter paywall).
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is special assistant to the provost and professor of communication in the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA where he also directs the graduate program in professional communication. He researches and writes on a variety of topics including communication technologies, relationships, and sports (with an emphasis on fandom). His work has appeared in Mahoning Matters as well as The Vindicator and Tribune-Chronicle newspapers.