Saturday, January 4, 2014

Technology is evil!

Overall, great advances have been made in technology and some of those advances are quite beneficial,  even life-saving.  However, the instant easy access that every one - young and old - have to constant interaction, the Internet, etc. is scary.  Often it reminds me of the movie Wall-E in which people just float around on their electronic scooters attached to their phones, tablets, whatever it may be. No interaction other then of the virtual type.
The next thing you know, people are going to be seriously hiring another person to lead them around so that they don't have to look up from their phones.

I watch my own family, and see how easily we can be swept up into the virtual world. Given the chance, my boys would stay on the computer or video games all day...only surfacing for meals and bathroom breaks. I know that can't be healthy for their growing brains! One study I read suggested that extended periods of video games can even cause symptoms of psychosis in children/adolescents. Yikes.

We made the mistake of getting a smartphone for our oldest son. Now we have to figure out how to go back on it without being totally mean parents. Or maybe that's just what we need to be. I guess the first children are for learning on, and learning from mistakes. Oops.

There are so many scary stories in the media of children and youth being bullied, sharing inappropriate pictures, bullying others, or sharing personal details with random strangers who sometimes are child predators. I just didn't have that sort of issue to deal with when I was a kid. The home had one shared family computer. Nothing else connected to the Internet. And the Internet we did have was dial-up. If too many people in our town were on the Internet at the same time, then we'd get a busy signal and have to wait awhile. It was first come-first serve. I found chat rooms and "IM" (instant messaging) when I was a teenager. I remember how addicting they were. My dad once threatened to throw the computer out of the window.  I now know how he feels. I want to throw the cell phones, the ipods, the xboxes, and the computers out of the window at times as well.

The future scares me. I hope that all this technology is just like a shiny new toy and we'll figure things out soon, such as limits, boundaries, and moderation. However, I don't think that is likely to happen. Instead of things getting better with more technology, they seem to be getting worse.

In closing, take it from my first-hand experience, kids have enough to deal with. The world of technology is often outside of their maturity level. Let them be young and innocent for as long as they can. They really won't suffer if they don't get the latest smartphone. I never had a cell phone until I was a young adult. I didn't miss it. I wrote notes to my friends and called them on the house phone. I survived.

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