Technology is a tool. Having a home computer opens the up a world of learning, entertainment and creativity to everyone at every age. Young people learn about elements by playing Minecraft with their friends. Elderly people see their family “face-to-face”. Parents balance the budget. Creatives find that one missing piece for their grand creation or even some inspiration. And everyone can use it to take some time out – play a solitary card game with a cup of tea, an online game with friends across the world, find the next up and coming artist or even see the latest blockbuster. Just as people are not productive for every second they are awake, so technology doesn’t have to be serious all the time. Its a tool. And the best things about tools is that its up to the person using it on how it gets used.
Now imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon yet another blog post in which a child psychologist blames all the millennial and next-get issues solely on technology. Sigh. I wish I was making this up. According to her, all the (very misquoted) statistics about teen suicide, autism and ADHD is due to too much technology. Not anything else. Is your child throwing a tantrum because they don’t get what they want? Its because of an iPad. Not because you as a parent have failed to set boundaries. Oh no. Does your child cause a disturbance in class and can’t focus? Yeah well, that laptop you gave him is the cause. He can’t possibly have gotten ADHD naturally. And on she goes.
It boggles my mind how in this day and age, when everything is happening online, some people would want to limit their kids on purpose. I mean, getting a passport is all done online. Finding a house to buy is done online. The internet has become the tool by which we get stuff done while at work! You might be saying “kids these days spend hours online and its rotting their brain!” Ok, so lets change that around… “All Timmy does is paint. Hours and hours go by where all he does is just produce picture after picture. We are thinking about taking away his paint and brushes and forcing him to go on a hike.” Or even “All she does is read. She can get a book and absorb it all. We are going to forbid her from going to the library because too much reading is dangerous.” See how silly that sounds?
Technology is a tool. It keeps us connected to those we value most. It provides us with education, with entertainment, with creativity. It should not be this big evil thing that you have to prevent people from using. You are not helping anyone by telling your kids that they cant use Paint3D and should “do real painting”. The joy of digital is that mistakes are learnt from and corrected immediately.
Or, you know, you could always become Amish. I hear their life is pretty churning (pun on charming… yes? yes?)