As a middle-school kid in the early 2000’s, your biggest concern would be having your own cell phone to call your friends on without having your parents ease drop on your conversations on the landline. As a middle-school kid in 2016, your biggest concern is how many Instagram likes the photo you posted with your shiny new iPhone 6s got today.
It’s incredible to think about the technological advances that have come about in the past 10 or so years. With the advancement of cell phones and the development of social media and the internet, society is almost completely different than it was 10 years ago.
Most people see a breaking news story on their Twitter or Facebook feed before they see it on the television. Instead of crayons and a coloring page to occupy their children in a restaurant, parents now place an iPad in front of their toddler. Students now can receive textbooks in a digital form right on their computer, and cell phones have turned into mini, pocket sized computers rather than simple mobile calling devices. All the while, a movie can be streamed on an iPad for a kid while his dad watches football on a television in the same room.
Technology offers us so many different ways to make our lives easier, and it’s no secret that these advances affect the way society functions. Jim Taylor writes about how technological advances affect the way young children think and focus in his blog. What I want to focus on is how parents are the ones influencing their children with this technology. But is this because that’s all they know because of how they were raised? Was technology affecting them as kids, and in turn their own children are being subjected to the advances of society more strongly with the advancements coming forward?
Yes, technology is advancing tremendously as we speak, but that doesn’t mean our world has to revolve around it. I believe that a lot of the advances that technology has made can greatly impact the way that we live our lives, making daily tasks and business ventures much simpler than ever before. However, this doesn’t mean teaching our kids that holding a meaningful, face-to-face conversation is no longer important because everything that can be accomplished face-to-face can be done through the means of a cell phone.
The advancement of technology has some amazing benefits, but that doesn’t mean it has to control our life. We still have control over when, where and how we use these advancements. We choose to answer those emails at the dinner table when they can wait 30 minutes while we talk to our family members about their day. We take the easy rout and occupy a crying toddler with a iPad video game instead of teaching him to color inside the lines. We foster out 13-year-olds technology obsession by handing them new iPhones to text their friends instead of having them go knock on their door across the street.
Teaching our children to grow up in this type of society will affect how they raise their own children. Without even realizing it, we are fostering the generations of the future with the decisions in which we choose for today’s society. We should no longer blame the incredible advancements of technology, but rather control how we use the advancements to our advantage.