Stay connected to what’s real

If you take a look outside you will see the everlasting glow of the sun. Don’t stare at it too long, you could go blind; at least that’s what our parents tell us. What parents don’t know is having their children look up at the sun can prove to be beneficial.

It’s a common encounter for teens to be sat down by their parents to hear about the “good old days.” Parents speak of how they would walk several blocks to their favorite diner or meet up with friends after school to hang out. As long as the sun was up, they were out.

As time passed, less and less teens were seen outside. To find them today you mustn’t look where there’s fresh air, but where there’s an outlet.

Generations now are too caught up in technology to step foot outside. According to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, at least 91 percent of teens use the Internet, at least for more than two hours a day. Teens lack sunlight and gain followers.

There isn’t much room for any real interaction with other people anymore. Reading, “Jane Doe liked your status” or replying to a tweet your classmate posted about how boring class is has become the new norm.

We can forget calling someone on the phone. Let’s lower the possibility of actually communicating with someone verbally and send a simple text message. After all, phone calls are as frightening as losing Wi-Fi for more than an hour.

Pew Internet & American Life Project also found that fully two thirds of teens would rather send a text message than call their friend on the phone.

This can all make teens disconnected from the real world, causing them to miss out on the many wonders the world offers. There are many things to experience and discover, it just requires going outside and living.

Imagine gathering a group of friends and taking a drive to San Francisco. The city hosts multiple events and is filled with restaurants, parks and beaches. Better yet, it provides a thrill when drivers with road rage swerve in front of you, just before running into traffic for the next half hour.

No worries, the fun isn’t over yet. Traffic is the best time to turn your stereo volume up and sing-along to your favorite tunes. You may need to put the volume on max for those high notes that you can’t quite hit yet. A simple day trip can open the window for many more exciting trips.

Feel free to bring your phones along to take pictures of the Golden Gate and the view from Treasure Island. Or even of your friend who tripped over a crack in the city’s old sidewalks and plunged their face into their ice cream cone.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with using social networks. However, time spent using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram should be lowered.

As for time spent outside, or even going to the movies or a restaurant, it should be steadily increasing as new wonders sprout all around us.

Getting active and enjoying the sunlight is much more exciting than watching other people have fun.

Better yet, doing something on your own can be equally rewarding. There’s no conflict in deciding where to go or what to do; you just do it.

You don’t have to make an entire day out of your plans. Doing something other than gluing your face to a computer or phone screen will be much more exciting.

But who would want to see the Golden Gate in person or even try that hit new restaurant two cities over when you can just look at a picture of it? Just don’t forget to hit the “like” button.