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Technology and our children

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posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 09:59 AM
Like anything in this world it comes down to how you use it.

Unfortunately most people don't know enough to effectively use the internet as anything other than an extension of their television / mobile phones.

Children should not be allowed unfettered net access, or mobile phones (toddlers with mobiles is not only disgusting but dangerous in my opinion). That doesn't mean they cant have any ANY net access / high tech time but more that it needs to be handled in the right way, for the development of the little person in question.

Also the younger generations that spend A LOT of time online DO voice communicate with their friends a lot, often with "friends" they have made all around the world via VOIP software like Vent or Teamspeak or Skype, its not something which is simply regulated to text talk.

If you want people to have more face to face time, then there needs to be a culture shift, because for example in the UK there is really quite limited things that the non-online culture does, such as go to the pub / bar, go to the movies, go bowling / football / golf, or go shopping. Most people don't step outside of those limited social constructs and that's just as unhealthy and unproductive as staying at home 24/7 only communicating with other people you've never met via text.

posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 10:25 AM
Technology is a double edged sword. It has made a generation of lazy people. I think it may even be a part cause of obesity, we don't have to go anywhere anymore. We can shop, play, work, talk and entertain ourselves all from the comfort of our homes sitting on our duffs.

Something I don't get with this stuff is, why my kid chats with friends on msm while talking to them on the phone at the same time. I have read the chat conversations and most of it is gibberish and partial no where conversations. I, like some here, refuse to text. I can do it and used to do it, but refuse to now as I don't get the point.

I barely see kids outside playing anymore, they are all couped up indoors playing guitar hero or rock band etc.

The internet is a great tool, and I use it for researching various information, reading, games, email and many other things. It is also a great tool for school and work. It has generally replaced the local libraries.

I must say though, that the feel of a hard cover leather bound book in my hands, or the smell of ink pressed course paper cannot be replaced by the web.

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 05:12 AM
reply to post by spellbound

The great indoors

A vast change has overtaken suburbia in the past two generations. The archetypal suburb was first and foremost because that's where people moved to raise families. Lawns and parks and lots of other families with children defined the suburb as a children's paradise. In the cultural mythos of the American Dream, childhood proceeds along the lines of the Little Rascals or Dennis the Menace or the Berenstain Bears: long days playing outside with other children, building clubhouses and forts, jumping rope and playing hopscotch, catching frogs and turtles, biking all over the place . . . pickup games of baseball and tag . . . tea parties with the other girls . . . sledding and snowball fights. Children were seldom at home. They were at a neighbor's house, or over at the playground, or the vacant lot, or down by the pond. It didn't matter as long as they were back for dinner. Until recently, play was outdoors, public, and free of charge.

Where are the children now? This is the question I asked myself one winter Saturday as I walked through the empty suburban streets and past the deserted playgrounds of my home town. Finally I saw a tiny figure dressed in a pink snowsuit, a little girl standing at the edge of her yard, waist deep in the snow. She dipped her mitten into the snow for a taste. Four hundred families in this neighborhood, most of them with children, and only a single five-year-old outdoors on a Saturday afternoon. And I cannot imagine her staying there very long, alone in the snow, the stillness broken only by the passing cars and that odd-looking lone pedestrian. Her life happens indoors.

When my son Matthew was four or five, he wanted a pocket knife just like his big brother. I decided to give him one, explaining carefully, "This knife is sharp, Matthew, and if you are not careful you will cut yourself." What happened? He was not careful, of course, and he cut himself. Not too seriously, but it hurt and there was blood. What did he learn from this? For one thing, he learned that knives are indeed dangerous—on their own merits, and not because one might get caught using one without permission. The second thing Matthew learned is that Dad is one smart dude. Dad was right about the knife. When Dad says something might happen, it's a good idea to listen.

No matter how deeply and thoroughly we frighten children with our power to invoke their survival anxiety, their natural curiosity and compulsion to test limits will eventually provoke them to "try it anyway," often in secret. When they find, as is often the case, that the consequences aren't as bad as their parents said they were, then parental authority loses all credibility. They find that no one loses an eye when they throw a paper airplane indoors, that they can smoke marijuana and not wake up in a crack house, that reading Harry Potter does not lead to Satanic ritual sacrifice. Now the stage is set for tragedy. On the one hand, they have always been insulated from the real consequences of their actions. On the other hand, the imposed substitute consequences (punishments) are no longer effective, because the wily teenager easily evades them by deceiving authority, not by abstaining from the behavior. The result is that the teenager acts as if he were immortal or invulnerable, and lies to his parents about everything he does.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 07:05 AM
Ohhh i just love this topic! lol.. Technology is a brilliant tool in many ways, it can help many things, solve innumerable problems and so on.. but as far as children are concerned all i see it doing- at least to the kids that are constantly plugged into one device or another- is making them completely void of any healthy imagination.. they are becoming a 'push button' generation where they are trained to simply push a button to get a response or gratification.. i personally can not see how this is a good thing..for anyone..but on impressionable minds even less..I am of the generation of early on video games, nintendo sega etc, and i remember the adults then complaining how lazy it will make the an extent they were entirely right.. but it is up to the parents to take control of the situation and to limit gizmos and time spent on them..
Technology is great until it doesnt work, and the dependancy todays young ones have for it is dangerous..
For many young teens especially, the internet isnt a tool for learning or for gaining any relevent knowledge, but for celeb gossip and wardrobes, false realities of fictional shows they are obsessed with and loads of other mundanities that do far more harm than good..

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 04:37 PM
Sorry, didn't read the entire topic, but this is my view on the subject...

Technology is a double-edged sword, it can, and indeed has, proven to be a very effective means of research, makes a lot of menial - often mathematical - tasks ten-fold easier and can produce intelligent, logical solutions much much faster than the human mind. Do I believe computers may ever replace our brains? No. Not until we delve into biologically driven tech but even then there are always limitations.

But, as for cellular devices - garbage, utter garbage. It means nothing to live across the street from someone anymore. People are now connected 'world-wide' so to speak, and neighborhood living has become strange and alien to us. We no longer say 'hello' to strangers walking on a street. Instead we blabber about absolutely nothing important with other people who are also unimportant (in the GSoT - grand scheme of things) rather than embracing a here-and-now lifestyle that we always had before. now its there and then "sup bob wenz dat prty 2nite?"

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 07:21 AM

Originally posted by spellbound
I think that we are damaging our children with too much technology.

Apart from the fact that I am very concerned about the see-through walls scenario that has been discussed, I am worried that our teenagers are into technology more than they are into each other.

Our babies and our young children are growing up brainwashed, ignorant about the history of the world. And people who are ignorant about history repeat bad history.

Do we teach our children racism? Yes. Do we teach our children warfare? Yes.

Do we teach our children to communicate with other people, face to face? No.

I can understand some of the concern, and indeed many parents do not take the time anymore to teach their kids good values, or history, or anything meaningful. However, that isn't the case for all. Do I teach my children racism? No! Do I teach my children warfare? Not like you mean; I will teach them to defend themselves, their loved ones, and their home, though. That isn't a bad thing. Do I teach them to communicate? You bet I do. Daily. It's all about what parents choose to do, and what they allow society to do for them.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:44 AM
reply to post by spellbound

I do not agree totally but you do seem to have a point that without guidance from adults, too much technology could overwhelm and hinder social development but an adult who lets this happen to their child is doing something wrong anyway. Parents always have a responsibility to teach even if it is to teach how to use technology responsibly and to keep it all within moderation.

On the whole I think technology has the potential to transform children educationally and in many cases I believe that technology is enhancing our children more than not. Regrettably like anything, too much of something can be detrimental to health I completely agree with you. The see through walls scenario I am not concerned with however because I see that as a security service or military application and even if such a tech did happen to filter down to the civilian market then there would be counters quickly available that would screen such tech from invading privacy - Cause and effect, action and reaction.

Therefore I remain aware of it but not overly concerned at the moment.
My own teenage daughters taught me that technology is a great thing in general and is not a bugbear to be distrustful of. One of those teenagers is now twenty two the other is twenty and they were both heavily into technology as teenagers as they are now as young adults.
For all their technological proficiency which happened to surpass mine when it comes to intercommunication devices and social software, they learned much more about social interactions within and outside their peer groups via a plethora of social sites.

They learned via their circle of friends that not only could they meet up and do what teenagers do but they could use technology to their benefit in the context of staying safe, planning well ahead and determining character compositions, negative or positive within a male/female peer group that would have taken longer to assess had no technology been used.

For reiteration: From using technology this information was determined faster and more efficiently and though it could all have been done without the use of technology more time would have been expended and energy expended and perhaps safety compromised.

My thirteen year old daughter is also a technology buff but she is much more into history and art and has a great personal knowledge of things from history or other cultures that is at times quite surprising and impressive. She is absolutely passionate about Japanese culture and by using technology has started to learn how to write words and to talk in Japanese and though this could have been done with books and libraries, or bought-for-courses she instead took it upon herself to learn these things for herself via her computer with modest guidance or input from me.

Her capacity to learn quickly and with a level of proficiency is vastly improved with the ability she has learned from using technology under my instruction and now she is flying, always learning and wanting to find out more about history, art techniques and current events.

Three years ago my oldest daughter found herself stuck In Brisbane Australia with no money and alone (boyfriend breakup) with only her cell phone. She was starting to panic and she felt vulnerable. Via my own landline and Google earth I was quickly able to direct her in real time straight to the British consulate. Technology not only has the capacity to totally transform our lives in educational terms but it has that same capacity to do the same in countless other ways too from social to security and for me this is not a bad thing.

My girls went through the fads with cell phones that most other teenagers seem so fixated on but I see it as a positive learning curve that prepares them for an ever changing modern age. Sure it may seem shallow as teenagers seem fixated on some sort of overriding goal to outdo their peers in the gadget stakes and in my opinion a phone is a phone is a phone but my girls in particular at that stage in their technological awakening were amazing to watch sometimes. Their texting, literally their thumbs were a blur, the sounds of pressed keys simply a rattle as they texted and I was always quite awed at their texting expertise.

As adults this fixation on technology has waned and calmed down and they use the internet much more safely because they learned the hard way and through my instruction that the internet has to be seen like you perceive a city. Some areas are safer than others.

They use their phones as they were designed to be used, to communicate and to stay safe, no longer filled with a hundred numbers from a hundred different friends. They have learned that technology is a vital tool that has a definitive place as a subtle tool that fits in with their lives and does not consume them like it did when they were teenagers.

Of course I share the worries that many have that technology could become too much too fast and I will never subscribe to technological implantation or other type of technology that takes away freedoms to be a private person but technology is not to be feared it should be used as a tool that slots into our lives and enhances it.

My girls as adults are not socially lacking in anyway and their attitude to life can seem alien to me sometimes and I do not agree with everything they might get up to, they have done me proud.

They have many friends and their employment prospects are great. They both now have good jobs with a view to climbing their respective ladders. My youngest was recently promoted to supervisor and they are both very popular with a positive outlook on life and in no way have they been stunted by being technophiles as teenagers and in the current employment climate their positive outlook and confidence is doing them a great service. Embracing technology as greatly benefited them.

I say embrace technology and it will serve you until error or malfunction. If you see technology as a negative and shy away from it you will end up left behind and not long after that someone will come along and switch off the lights.

[edit on 13-10-2009 by SmokeJaguar67]

posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 12:17 PM
If it were not for technology we would not be here.

I depend on technology for most things, as do we all. Where do we see the news? I for one go to ATS for most things that arn't local to my area because I don't trust everything on tv. But even if I did, I would still be using technology...

Without technology I wouldn't know half of the things that I do know, I wouldn't be doing as well in school and I wouldn't be doing as well socially.

You say we no longer communicate face to face, so take away mobile phones and computers....but that can not happen. We rely on such technology, and regardless of this, people will use house phones and just watch tv instead...why? Because as another poster said, their simply isn't much to do outside the house.

Generally if i go out I:

Go to town - requires money
Go to a party - requires money and the fact that I will end up drunk
Go to a friends for a while - still probably requires money for a bus to their house.
Walk around the fields - Probably the one thing that wouldn't require any money, but I also only have on friend who would be interested in that.

So you see, unless I am willing to spend money I don't really have, I have very little options when going out. Whilst I can easily speak to my friends online and spend nothing.

I text people on my mobile phone all the time, why? It costs less, it's quicker, and I only need it if I'm out of the house in which case you can barely hear what is being said on them due to background noise. I am not however typing in 'txt spk', and neither do my friends. In fact, i am rather displeased with the general layout of this post because it sucks.

Technology is here, and it is going nowhere, we must accept it and move with it, or be left behind.

And let me give one final argument which will have the most disagreements. You can get to know someone online much better than you ever would face to face. I have fallen in love with people I never met before I'll admit...I have become best friends with others and actually left the country to see them. I met a guy on here years ago under another account, he saved my life twice when I was on the edge.

I proved to a 12 year old girl I understood her enough, that when she wanted to run away from home and her only plan was to walk around the streets all night in Leeds...that if she ran away she was to get on a train and come to my house...and I would phone her parents and we would sort everything out while she was in a safe place. And then I managed to convince her to not run away in the first place... if I hadn't had technology, she would have gone that night; and I have little doubt in the fact that she probably would have been raped.
(There is an acceptable reason for having the email address of the girl, U2U if you want some proof I'm not a weird guy hehe)

Oh, and I'm im perfectly in the age range to be affected by technology.

posted on Oct, 15 2009 @ 10:04 AM
all these kids with their new fangled gizmos and gadgets! it seems kids just are taking forever to grow up nowadays. when youre born in front of videogames, what do you expect? it seems the generation gaps just keep getting smaller and smaller. I was born in 85 and i sure dont relate to most 90s babies.

posted on Oct, 15 2009 @ 12:12 PM
It's funny, I was just thinking the other day how I can submit my homework, take my midterms, "talk" to friends, ask for advice on homework, go grocery shopping, order some Christmas gifts, order a deliverable pizza, and stop at the library to check out some books without so much as saying ONE word to somebody thanks to the internet and physical auto checkouts. Scary? Yes. Does it help? Sometimes, yes. I don't think it's physically possible to be "on" socially every single day - sometimes you just need that quiet "me" day and technology helps that. Unfortunately, it can also encourage this behavior lazily over social behavior.

On one hand, we're being dumbed down by the readiness of information and lack of real human interaction, on the other hand we can meet someone we'd never "meet" in real life. We can learn somebody elses' personal experiences like never before.

It all relies on 1. how parents teach their children to interact and handle the amount of possibilities and disadvantages of the technological world and 2. how the children then intercept that message and use it actively or toss it out the window.

It's a double edged sword and it's up to the individual(s) on how to handle it effectively. In the above situations, I CAN do all of those things (minus the midterm) by talking, and I do choose to do them. I'm a rather introverted person - maybe it's because I'm 24 and have had the internet for 10 years. In this time I've been diagnosed with social anxiety. Did technology help it because I can still communicate with people without face to face interaction/rejection, or stimulate it since it's easier to type this than stand up in front of 300 people and declare my thoughts, I'd prefer typing than public speaking?

Technology is full of wonderful advantages as long as you weed out the disadvantages. We live in an ever-changing time and you have to keep up. At 24 I'm personally editing the way I interact - I love e-friends but I am also branching out to real friends and real person interactions. I think I have a very healthy balance of both, which everyone can as long as you realize there's a perfectly functioning world (well... just pretend that's accurate) outside of the illuminated screens.

[edit on 15-10-2009 by acissej]

posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 06:37 PM

Originally posted by deltaalphanovember
When children started riding bicycles, they said "how terrible, now our children won't walk enough"
When they invented the typewriter, they said "how terrible, now our children won't write enough"
When they invented the personal computer, they said "how terrible, now our children won't think enough"

It's called Technological Progress - some will evolve and adapt. Some will not.
Those that do will inherit the earth.

I disagree. Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have increased dramatically, primarily in the past decade, and it's due to technology. Kids don't play outside anymore, they go play their game systems. Of course, we are discussing how technology is bad on the internet. Technology is great, but it's use needs to be in moderation. Parents need to stop letting their children play on the computer all the time and make them go outside once in a while.

posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by artsyashley

When my dad was a child he had three full meals a day, and desert. He was into art and models, so effectively he stayed inside most days. He hardly weighs anything.

Back then people didn't snack constantly, they had full meals and little else...but now, we have entire cupboards devoted to biscuits, baskets fulls of crisps, chocolate in the fridge. And even then it wouldn't be such a problem if it wasn't for the fact that people often skip a meal to try to lose weight, only to find they infact gain more from all the snacking they then do because they're hungry.

I would say we need to sort out food issues before anything else....there are plenty of people who work in an office all day, then go home, they don't excercies but they arn't all overweight.

Then there is simply the way people grow, I was a thin but tall child, then by 13 I was only about average height, but quite podgy, now I am 17 and my height caught up making me tall again, effectively thinning me out. I didn't diet or excercise to do any of this...

posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 08:14 PM
Is it technology causing these problems, or the parents of the upcoming generations who have failed to teach and raise them correctly?

It is easy to put the blame on something, isn't it?

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