Since the beginning of time, humans were made to experience nature. People’s happiness, sleep cycles, and daily lives depend on sunlight and the air outside. Over this past decade things like working out, family activities, or just the will to want to go outside has been impacted by media and our tech devices. We can now ride a bike in the comfort of our own homes while looking at the outside world through a high definition screen. We can also watch Planet Earth while sitting on our couches eating hot pockets, instead of driving to the nearest national park. Our society encourages other people to go outside and adventure FOR US so we can sit in our homes and stay connected through our devices.
USA today published an article about the "indoor generation."In it they state, “it doesn’t register that it’s been 46 hours since you stepped foot out of your house when your eyeballs-deep in a weekend binge-watching session…” With all of the social media, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime we don’t need to see our friends to connect, we can watch every show at home. The truth is, we don’t even need to stop by the store anymore. We have structured our lives so we could be as comfortable as possible but not necessarily understanding the consequences of our actions.
Even more alarming, they“found that around 90 percent of people spend close to 22 hours inside everyday…” Society thinks that the light on the screen of their phones or computer is equivalent to the sunlight outside. But researchers are finding that,“around 15 percent of the world’s population is affected by different levels of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or winters depression…” Sunlight helps release serotonin in your body, which helps “contribute to wellbeing and happiness…is the precursor for melatonin, it helps the body’s sleep-wake cycles and the internal clock.” So, when people do not go outside and enjoy the sunlight it can lead to mood changes as well as mess-up the way we sleep.
People need to hear the wakeup call, we are made to experience the outside world, not sit in the comfort of our own homes. We are called to lift our heads from our screens and experience personal connection outside the office walls. The upcoming generations are being trained to look to their screens instead of the beauty of the changing seasons, clouds rolling by or the trees when they are walking home from school. We need to encourage the people around us to understand that life is bigger than our phone-light illuminating our faces, and to experience nature for the beauty healing agent that is it. We cannot accept the label that our kids will be called the 'indoor generation.' Lets instead choose to lead the way by living a life where we unplug from our devices and experience the newness that comes from being in connection and outdoors.
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Rachel Craft is a Division-1 Scholar Athlete at San Diego State University and is The NOVUS PROJECT'S Media and Research Representative. She is currently in her undergraduate work in Psychology. She has a passion for the next generation and seeing students reach their full potential.