Technological Fear: Raised by Dummies

Technology is all around us, we cannot escape it. We are a generation fuelled by the likes. We have a need to be liked, to be admired; not in real life anymore, but online. How we portray ourselves online is the most important thing. We are the generation who were introduced to technology, to social media and have grown with it. This has created two types of people- those who can distance themselves between reality and social media, and those who live for social media.

But what triggered my needs to write this post, regarding the darks side of technology, was during a conversation with my mum, who is a Primary School Teacher, and the negative effect technology is having upon some pupils. She reported her concern that her Year Two class, all have poor reading and writing abilities, there are little discussions held within the class, as they take everything my mum says as face value, and how one child asked my mum what a pencil was.

This is concerning, that here is a new generation who don’t know the simplicity and pleasure of picking up crayons and colouring. Of doodling on some paper, of letting your imagination run wild. Whereas my childhood memories consist of playing outside until dinner was ready, of arts and crafts on a rainy day, walks in the forest and building dens, of road trips filled with games of eye spy and me questioning everything; this new generation of children’s memories is going to be off their tablet.

I was in a restaurant the other day, and in my family we have a rule not to have our phones out on the table when we are eating or catching up with one another. Yet as I glanced around the restaurant, all of the children ageing from 4-15 had some sort of device in front of them. They were eating their food, headphones in and eyes fixated on a screen. Communication is dying, if not already dead and it not only saddens me, it concerns me.

I shouldn’t find it refreshing when I see kids playing outside, when the other day, whilst doing the grocery shopping this child shouted at me to ‘stop and watch the lava’, and I played along with him. I shouldn’t find it refreshing when kids use their imagination. But we are no better either; will I become the kind of mother who to quiet her child will hand them a tablet? Will when they question me about something, Google it, instead of knowing the answer anyway? Are we becoming a society raising children as dummies?

This future generation are our new lawyers, new bankers, new innovators, scientists, doctors, engineers etc. But if a child’s life consists of staring into a screen, of not knowing what a pencil is- what hope is there for us as we age to be supported, to communicate with others? Are we going to all be all so involved in our own heads and have a relationship with our tablets rather than with people? I hope that for the people who do, that they continue to support and encourage their children to learn, to use their imagination and never stop asking questions.

Technology is both a blessing and a curse.

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