Five-Minute Friday: Joystick

(Note: “Five-Minute Friday” is an activity adapted from Kate Motaung’s blog. Each week, I use and write for five minutes straight with the word as a prompt, free-write style with no editing and no over-thinking.)

Well, if ever anyone thought I was hand-selecting my “random words,” this week’s gem ought to put the suspicions to rest!

Joystick. When I was younger (I’m guessing 10), I begged and begged and begged my parents to buy us a Nintendo gaming system. They were resistant, knowing even then – before all the research and the experts and the books warning against “screen time” – that introducing such a device probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

I can’t recall the specifics of how my sister and I finally wore them down (let’s be honest – it was probably just me – I’ll leave Kara out of it), but I do remember LOVING Super Mario Brothers and devoting quite a bit of time to advancing my levels.

But that was about it. Once I conquered the game, the magic was gone. I remember the other games in the pack – Duck Hunt, for one – but I don’t recall them having the same pull. I’m sure I was glued to the tv in my pursuit of reaching the princess at the final round (level 10? Who knows anymore), but I don’t remember losing whole weekends to it or wanting to spend my entire summer break on the thing.

We never bought another gaming system after that, so we certainly weren’t keeping up with the upgraded technology. Was it because our household had two girls?

Everything I’m reading now identifies the gender differences in media/screen time usage pretty distinctly: girls use social media to connect with friends, and boys using gaming to connect with friends. This description fits my kids’ usage habits fairly accurately.

Time’s up? Thank goodness. I didn’t find much “joy” in this word!

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