Your Kids May Die Of Device Addiction

Spending time outdoors, we all noticed, where are the children?

Christyl Rivers, Phd.
4 min readJul 25, 2022


Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

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We spent the weekend at the beach, and walking in public parks. There were no children, none! — on public playgrounds. There were even very few kids (or other humans) walking by the lake, playing on the beach, crafting sand castles, or running around being kids.

This is bad.

My brother observed that he suspects the parents are content to leave the kids at home. On screens, they are quiet. They are not disruptive. They are on their devices, gaming, surfing, social media-ing, celebrity gossiping and tearing down one another’s esteem.

Heat is not the reason, it was cool here on the Pacific coast, (while we await the dreaded heat dome which is due to arrive tomorrow.) Lots of global places, including the USA, are burning up heat records, yes. Yet, I suspect my brother is right.

It’s because kids no longer play outside that they are gone. Every playground has a weird, Stephen King screechy kind of empty swing horror movie soundtrack. It’s disturbing.

Here are three clues as to what is going on, and what the high cost could be.

One: we have moved into a largely abstract and artificial life online. This disconnects us from the planet that supports our life systems. Kids, hooked on computers their whole lives, have no mental, or physical, model of being outside on a summer day as the norm.

It’s not their fault.

Two: This has happened incrementally, and not even a lot of parents realize that it is true. We have had some aging literature about the last child outdoors, or the importance of people recognizing our belonging to nature, but it appears mostly ignored. Without a grasp of how the food web works, how systems support one another, and how the rest of nature is suffering under the demands of a consumption driven world, we are rapidly surging toward a tipping point.

Three: The heat, fires, climate grief, deteriorated landscapes, lost biodiversity, and procurement of resources, affordable food, enough water, coping with…



Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.