Are Our Kids TOO Obsessed With Technology?
I suppose since I don't actually have kids of my own, the title of this post should read "Are YOUR kids too obsessed..." But that sounded kind of judgy; the "our" is much less so, don't you think? The other day, while procrastinating on Facebook (I typically do this early in the mornings during the snooze period on my alarm) I came across an article about Steve Jobs and how he didn't let his kids have iPads. Said that since he was around technology every day, he understood the potential damage it people and therefore tried to limit its use in his home. Interesting, no?
I asked my husband about it and he agreed. He's always talking about how he's going to force our kids (once we have them) to go outside and play and try to discourage them from sitting in front of the television all day. At first, I disagreed. When I was younger, we weren't "forced" to get out of the house and get fresh air. We went out to play because we wanted to, but there WERE days (especially dealing with that Georgia heat when we were stationed here in the late 90s) of which we spent the entirety sitting in the house and (you guessed it) watching t.v. And we turned out fine! I'm a successful real estate agent, my sister is currently in graduate school pursuing a Master's degree in Fine Arts, and my younger brother is finishing up his first semester of college.
But then I got to thinking. First of all, my kids will have access to much more sophisticated technology than we did we were younger. Today, kids have iPads and Kindles, as well as the various social networks, some of which I'd never even heard of before doing a bit of research. When I was a kid, I had the VCR and those little Gigapets that you had to feed and clean, etc. (I included the link in case anyone under the age of about 21 is reading this).
Fast forward to now, and I've got more technology than I know what to do with. A desktop computer, a laptop computer, the iPad, my phone and iPod (which I refuse to get rid of); the list goes on and on. And I've noticed lately that I've developed the shortest attention span ever. Even as I'm typing this blog post, I've sent out several text messages, paused to read yet another article on Facebook, and looked at a video my sister sent me earlier today. And trying to watch a t.v. show? Oh, forget it. I find it increasingly difficult to sit still for 60 minutes and JUST watch television. I'm either on Facebook, working on this blog, Pinning stuff for the house, etc. I literally have a hard time sitting through movies. MOVIES! How sad is that?
And do I want my kids to be like that? To lack the ability to fully enjoy something (whether it's a movie or just dinner with friends) without the aide of technology? Can't say that I do. But what's the answer? I wouldn't want to deprive my kids (or myself for that matter) either. There are some wonderful things about technology. Information is so much more accessible now (I remember painstakingly researching duck-billed platypuses on one of those Encarta computer programs, today, you could google the term and immediately come up with a plethora of relevant articles and images) and many schools are now employing iPads to assist with education. So it's not all bad. But where do we draw the line?
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I LOVE feedback! How does technology affect you and your family?