Leisure time is basically a period of free time that might be spent in a manner one chooses it to be spent. This provides a framework for a wide scope of individual’s leisure activity like from proactive to unreceptive pursuits and from personal productivity to pretentious consumption. It may also include reading of books, relaxing, making music or throwing parties, watching TVs or playing computer games, and many more. Play is also defined as a ‘freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated behavior that engages the children’. All these play and leisure activities within young people and children might occur depending upon the circumstances (Hancox, Milne and Poulton, 2005). Since industrialization time, leisure time activities and mobility have been developed a lot with the use of technology. Because of the increased use of technologies, the traditional setting for children’s play has also undergone a major change in recent years. The impact of modern gadgets on children’s play activity- whether derived in terms of toys or the leisure activity associated with information and communication, it has created a multimedia environment that is full of opportunities and sometimes might also bring along the threats (Zimmerman, Christakis and Meltzoff, 2007).
All these modern technologies are available to children and young people in the forms of Televisions, video game, internet, etc that has captured most of the aspects of individuals’ life. These things are overpowering most of the outdoor ad physical activities making children and people lazy and lethargic at early age. Along with few benefits, technology is rather bringing more of negative consequences. Different surveys have also shown that children and young people have inclined highly towards technology oriented gadgets and play tools for their leisure and entertainment (Subramanyam and et.al, 2000). When children were asked about their favorite play activities, both with their friends and when they are alone, the responses are as mentioned below:
Looking at the response, it is quite clear that screen and technology based play such as playing console or PC games have listed nearly one third of the children after football and chasing games. Among young people, watching television is also one of the popular technology-based activities (Poser, 2011). Some other media based leisure activities in which most of the young population is involved these days are going to cinema and texting, especially in young girls have been noticed exclusively.
When it comes to playing alone, technology and television have become the dominant activity. Playing computer or video games has now turned up as the most popular option for children while playing alone despite of them choosing any outdoor activity for play or leisure. The outdoor activities that are witnessed where young people or children are still active are basically in rural-based area where technology has not reached to that great extent (Bers and Noam, 2011). Thus it can be seen that play and leisure has now come up with entire new definition in modern time with a modern approach. For the children of today’s era, playing is simply ‘fun’ and ‘doing what they like’ or ‘just a time passing activity’ which is entirely wrongly interpreted. Playing is not only subjected to passing of time or doing what they like, rather is much more than that. It consists of exercise element both physically and mentally. This thinking or psychology element is missing among young children that need to be motivated and pushed again (Sluss, 2014).
Moreover, there are some of the positive factor that these technology at home equipments and tools offer like for instance, it has become a major source of information and entertainment media that is available to people at home. This has made the rooms of young children as ‘media rich bedrooms’ as most of the learning and entertainment media is available online and they need not to look on to the books and magazines for enriching their memory skills (Evra, 2004). Television on other hand has become the most important tool for entertainment and almost 98.6% of children and young people have confirmed that they have at least one television at their home and spend most of their time watching the same. Similarly, 84% of the children’s population has computers at their home for gaming, entertainment and education purpose (Vorgan and Brian, 2008).
Thus it is quite clear that the face of modern play and leisure have changed with almost all regards and gaming technologies and television entertainment consoles have become highly popular that has almost restricted the physical as well as mental growth of children. This prevalence of technology in children’s play has made the physical well being of children quite difficult (Jennings, 2005). It has increased the risk of obesity at early age and is also making children and young people aggressive especially with fighting and killing oriented video games. Regularly playing of video games has been characterized by severe pain in the extensor tendon of right thumb because of repeated pressing of buttons during video game play. Similarly, television watching and other indoor activities have given rise to pain in eyes, back, wrists, etc (Hancox, Milne and Poulton, 2005).
This gives a clear indication that the face of modern lifestyle and play and leisure activity needs to be balanced with the health cautiousness and other benefits otherwise the young population might get impacted with many severe diseases. In order to reduce the possibilities of injuries and increase outdoor likings, children and young people should be given instructions unlike adults for safe computer use and also make them understand the benefits of outdoor plays (Zimmerman, Christakis and Meltzoff, 2007). Technological influence on modern lifestyle is great as it has completely transformed the way in which people look their fun and entertainment factor. Less of the population now prefer going out with families and friends on picnics and outings rather they prefer going for movie together or stay at home alone or with friends watching TVs or on play stations, thus influencing their play and leisure (Subramanyam, and et.al, 2000).