Is Tech Hurting Our Kids?

This was kind of a disturbing thought:

According to Havas Worldwide‘s “New Dynamics of Family” report, one in three adults say technology is destroying family life, and half believe that allowing a child unrestricted access to the Internet is a form of child abuse. Some 92% of children have a digital footprint by the age of two, and now, most adults believe digital technology and the Internet are ruining childhood.

How do you feel about that?  I mean we’ve all seen a two-year old handle an iPad or cellphone.  Did they seem as if they were being abused?  Not to overstate the point since it really wasn’t the focus of the study but it does get one thinking.  You can read more about it here.

We raised two children just as the digital age was dawning.  Most of our family time was spent doing things outdoors although once the first Playstation hit our home we played video games together as well.  Not every day and not in lieu of other things.  At the end of the day I think blaming technology is misplaced.  Yes, an iPad is a convenient babysitter although all it has done for some is to take the place of the television. Why is it ok to park your kid in front of Sesame Street but not ok for them to play with the Sesame Street app?

I could make the opposite argument.  Not allowing kids to understand technology or the social sphere is worse.  Going forward the world is going to become more technologically based (although hopefully with better, more intuitive, self-correcting interfaces).  Kids need those skills.  They need to understand what is appropriate to share and what isn’t.  I agree that the kid who does nothing but communicate with a video game controller to the exclusion of human interaction is going to have issues.  It’s our job as parents to make sure there is a mix of real and virtual.  Excluding either one is bad in my book.

How do you feel about this?

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Filed under Reality checks, Thinking Aloud

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