Technology is a blessing and a curse. It makes our lives easier, helps us stay connected to loved ones, and offers a great escape from unwanted confrontation on public transportation. However, the latest generation is the first to grow up with technology present in virtually every part of their lives, starting with baby-proof iPads and the like before they can even talk. Childhood is a delicate time in which we learn about ourselves and our surroundings, and endless literature emphasizes how these technologies continue to get in the way of self reflection, especially in children.
While babysitting over my latest break, the 7 and 10-year-old boy and girl I watch stayed glued to their iPod touches the entire time. The older girl, specifically, wouldn’t put it down while we were playing a fast paced board game because she “needed to see if her friend was online” continuously. The little boy kept asking me to watch him play a racing game. Literally nothing would make them part with these iPods and this prompted me to address this issue.
Understanding “self” becomes confusing with widespread representations of self online and social interaction between children has decreased with the advent of addicting games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush. How can we make sure the generations following ours have the ability to be alone with their thoughts and take the time to self reflect? It starts with you. Show the children in your life that technology can be a good thing, but you don’t need to be attached to it at all times. Promote activities that force reflection, quietness, and self-awareness, such as yoga, and live them yourself.
Below is the link to an interesting article about the impressionability of technology on young children. It’s a good read that enlightens the problems arising from the tech-centered world that generations after us are born into.