The Curious Lack of Curiosity in Children

Curiosity.  A word with a tinkling, magical sort of quality.  One source refers to it as, “The fuel for development.”  But I read something recently that said there seems to be a  curious absence of curiosity in children these days, as they are “raised in a culture of reality shows and endless deconstruction of the melodramas of other people’s lives.”  That’s a mouthful, but it does make me wonder.   Are kids as curious as they used to be?  Do they self-question and self-reflect?  Or is most of life one big feeding tube of information for them? 

As a writer, this concerns me.  A lot.  How far do we raise the bar of “story” in order to cultivate curiosity in our readers?  I’m speaking in generalities here – I know there will always be those children or young people who read voraciously, for the pleasure of reading.   But what about the average child or young adult reader?  At what point do we allow the the story to lose its purity as “literature” and be turned into a techno melting pot instituted to capture waning curiosity in the reader?  Where do we draw the line?  Or do we?

 

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One Response to The Curious Lack of Curiosity in Children

  1. As a former teacher and current writer, it concerns me a lot, too. I agree that life is so gritty and melodramatic as it’s presented on television, that we’ve definitely lost Never Land. I don’t know if we can find it again. Most kids I taught in my high school English class had never enjoyed the experience of sitting down with a book and creating a whole other imaginary world in their minds as they turned the pages. It made me sad. I tried to give them that with visual writers like Steinbeck, Hemmingway, and London, but it was like dragging a millstone along behind me. They went unwillingly, and in the end, I don’t know if their experience was anything like what I had intended all along. No easy answers here.

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