Screen addiction is a reality for many children. Like Carlitos, the protagonist of this children's story, little by little they enjoy the 'real' world less to move to the virtual world. But what are we not enjoying when we spend too much time with video games or on the Internet? This is what this man talks about short story, dedicated to all children who spend a lot of time with their mobile or tablet. It is titled: "Carlitos is going to live in the virtual world."
Carlitos was a boy who had always liked to play soccer with his friends. Even when the elders were not watching him, he dared to climb trees. He was always running from one side to the other and when he didn't take his bike out for a spin it was because he had chosen the scooter that day.
However, when he was six, things began to change: he discovered technology. If at first I only used the Internet to watch stunts with skates, little by little I used it more and more. Now he had breakfast watching videos on the tablet, at school he was always scolded for being with his mobile without paying attention to the teacher and Afternoons were spent locked up at home playing video games.
Carlitos had exchanged real life for a virtual life, where he was no longer the real protagonist. Little by little he was losing friends. Even his appearance, which had always been athletic, changed.
His parents scolded him and asked him to go outside to play, that he needed the sun. However, Carlitos did not obey or understand them, since for him everyone interesting and fun was on the Internet.
That was how every day Carlitos discovered a new thing in his body. Now his eyes stung and they were always tearing. He also started having knee and ankle problems and barely managed to stand. This did not matter to him as he believed he was turning into a mutant similar to the one in his video games.
However, a general blackout throughout the city was the return to reality for Carlitos. At first he was very angry about not being able to connect to the Internet, but as the hours passed, he began to remember the sensation of the air on his face, the euphoria of scoring a goal or the laughter he shared with his friends.
It was then that he heard a voice coming from the kitchen. He didn't recognize it very well but he thought it was his mother's. And when he thought of her, he understood that he had spent so many hours in front of the computer that he no longer remembered his mother's face. That did make him very sad. And she began to cry so much that she was crying for more than two days. But when he managed to open his eyes again, he discovered that he was in the arms of his mother, who would not stop kissing him and wiping his tears.
Since then, he only dedicated a short time a day to playing with his technological devices because now for Carlitos it was more important to go to the park with his mother.
As you may have already thought, this text opens a debate on the use of technology in children. It can help you to talk with your child about the excessive time that he spends with new technologies and everything that is being lost in 'real life'. To maintain this conversation, below we suggest a series of questions, some of them about reading comprehension and others that invite family discussion.
1. Why did Carlitos stop playing soccer with his friends even though he liked it a lot?
2. Why did Carlitos' eyes often start to sting? What other things happened to her body?
3. What made the child realize that he had to put down the screens?
4. What made Carlitos cry so much?
5. Do you think that you are anything like the child in this story?
6. What is better, the virtual world or the real one?
7. What things do you stop enjoying when you spend the entire afternoon with the tablet?
8. Do you think it is worth it?
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