Appeal of the outdoors tough sell to video game generation

Look around next time you're out fishing. Chances are that a lot of your fellow anglers will remember where they were when John F. Kennedy was shot. It turns out adults in their 20s or 30s just aren't going outside that much. One author even calls it "nature deficit disorder."

That means that they're not gardening, hunting, fishing or even playing softball as much as older generations.

"They're staying indoors more, spending more time with electronics," said Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods.”

It's simply hard to get those who grew up with video games and computers into outdoor activities that take more patience, he said.

Dennis Patton has noticed the trend among area gardeners.

"The younger generation is an indoor generation — an electronic generation with things at their fingertips," said Patton, horticulture agent at the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension office. "What we're seeing is that younger people aren't going out for gardening."

He attributes the decline to shorter attention spans and younger adults seeking instant gratification.

"With gardening, you don't get instant gratification," Patton said. "You get the feel-good of planting a plant, but it doesn’t flower until later."

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