In this day and age, we are surrounded by amazing and ever-changing technology. It’s great in some ways, as it can be very educational. But when it comes to kids and technology use, I’ve always tended towards keeping them from over-doing it. It turns out that my theory may have some basis – according to a recent article, kids as young as four are starting “digital detox” therapies to overcome their technological addictions.
It seems that removing technology from these kids makes them “distressed and inconsolable”, as well as provoking withdrawal symptoms like those of alcoholics or heroin addicts. Scary! But it also completely makes sense, considering how surrounded they are by gadgets from birth. A crying child is given something that draws them into themselves rather than a toy or “blankie” that still allows for human interaction. I’d wager that phones are the most common pacifiers these days. Yes, it’s an easy fix, but is it in their best long-term interests?
When I was a child, my entertainment came in many different forms. Games I’d made up myself, books, toys – all things that required plenty of imagination. When I had an assignment I used an encyclopaedia (for you young ones, it’s like Google, but in a book). Sure there was a bit of technology, but it was more of an addition than a necessity in my life.
My younger siblings are a different story. I see more of the top of my brother’s head than his face some days, as it’s glued to his iPod screen. My 16-year old sister has the tendency to pay more attention to her Smartphone than her food during dinner (and she loves food!). And I think that my six-year old sister is more proficient with an iPad than I am.
This is not to say that every kid growing up in this day and age will require therapy, but their parents will definitely have to be more wary. And while my generation wasn’t born into the Apple era, people of my age are just as addicted.
In the end it’s up to parents to decide how they raise their child and the precautions that they take. All I’m saying is, I never let technology become an overwhelming force in my life and I’ve never required any kind of therapy. You do the math.
What do you think? Do the benefits of technology outweigh the disadvantages?