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.
This 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, family…are met.
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Gwenn Is In*