By: Alyssa DiJoseph
Older generations often complain about how our generation is completely absorbed by technology. Although this is definitely true about quite a few people I know, I’m not sure it compares to the new breed of technology-obsessed children being created as we speak. You think your constant texting is bad? Imagine if you grew up with an iPad as a toy, or got a cell phone at age eight. These children, needless to say, are doomed. Earlier in the week I was talking to a few people in class, and the topic of children’s arts and crafts now vs. say, when we were growing up, came up. Within the past few years, arts and crafts products have monopolized on the fact that technology is advancing and children are becoming savvier towards it at younger ages. Are these new products going to phase out arts and crafts as we knew and loved them?
One such example is the Crayola Digital Light Designer. This conical tower allows you to draw digital images that light up with a stylus. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the commercial:
I know what you’re thinking: Lite Brite, anyone? Lite Brite was only the greatest “light up your arts and crafts” toy to ever exist. And what’s the Digital Light Designer if not a Lite Brite without the physical labor? I’m not sure whether to be insulted or relieved. This Digital Light Designer is ruining the beauty of actually creating something; on the other hand, now these poor defenseless children don’t have to go through the laborious process of lifting their fingers to a board in order to actually create a physical picture. (Also on the subject of Lite Brite, Google search it. The only remains of this fantastic childhood toy are a website, where you can create Lite Brite images online. The nerve.)
A second example of the death of arts and crafts is the iMarker and Crayola ColorStudio HD App. This is a digitally operated “marker” that you can use with an iPad. Are things really so bad that kids can’t even pick up a marker and color on paper? I mean, I know kids can be messy, but that’s why they made those delightful markers that only show up on special paper. I’m not sure what else to say about this except, “why?”
Needless to say, with products such as these popping up all over the market, I wouldn’t be surprised if in five years, children don’t know what a coloring book is and the Crayola Factory is shut down.