The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Snap out of it!

Girl taking snapshots in nature with a digital camera.

About a month ago Hillary commented eloquently on the importance of playing outdoors, but I would like to focus on a doable way to make it appealing to children. An expedition to nature should would stimulating if it weren't for its big rival, the Internet. Social media and online activities are the natural habitat for modern kids, and parents should begin with this fact in mind. So, instead of cutting their kids off from technology, they could have it shrewdly interact with nature.

One of the most intimate tools that can engage a direct connection with nature is digital photography. Who doesn’t enjoy the improvisation of taking pictures? Seth Spencer, an environmental graduate student at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, carried out research maintaining that digital cameras can influence the “connectedness to nature” levels in children. Considering that in developing societies 75% of kids over the age of six own or use a digital camera, the results of his thesis weigh even more. The model used for the analysis of the questionnaire data was the Five Cs of youth development: competence, confidence, connections, character, caring/compassion. All these features are fundamental in every child's development and long-lasting prosperity. The lure of technology, along with an increase in the number of youth visiting public landscapes, shows that the digital camera in a suitable medium with which children can easily and freely explore nature in its numerous details.

Being in close relation to nature is extremely important in children's physical and mental health. Parents and educators must elaborate on building a sense of environmental consciousness. A simple way to divert children from the network and cultivate an eco-friendly attitude is by encouraging them to take pictures inspired from the natural scenery.

-Magda Repouskou
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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