Technology is a new form of parenting
Nowadays I find the following scenarios common:
- 5 year olds with their own iPhone, with texting and calling capabilities.
- Children in strollers squirming around in their seats as they attempt to beat their Temple Run high score on their personal tablets.
- Crying and screaming babies not even a year old who are consoled with an iPhone to distract them from their worries.
- A group of kids at the park sitting at the picnic table while they battle it out on their Nintendo Switches.
- Young elementary school girls posting duck faces and worried about their Instagram following.
- Kids glued to their Christmas movie marathon while on family road trips in the middle of July.
In my opinion, this represents universal parental laziness. Why? Because it is much easier to stop a child from crying and misbehaving with a preprogrammed device than actually having to go through the trouble to communicate and understand the child. The result: tablets, phones, laptops, televisions, switches, etc. become the parents. In the child’s mind, the devices listen to their worries, remove any pain by offering happy and fantasy thoughts, play with them when their bored, etc.
Parents then wonder why their children grow to become so distant, technologically obsessed, and extremely unenthusiastic to spend time with “family.” They do everything in their power to build a wall between their now fully grown adolescents and their technological devices, unfortunately without success. Newsflash to the parents: You won’t ever succeed because the devices you are trying to seperate your children from are in fact their parents.
Note to reader: Now that I look back on this post, I find that it is heavily inspired by one of my favorite Ray Bradbury pieces, “The Veldt.” In 1950, when the story was originally published, Bradbury projected the impending doom of the average human family due to the growing sphere of influence of technology. Now that we are in 2019, it is amazing yet unsettling to see how accurate Bradbury’s prediction was. However, there is still time to improve our current condition. Parents, while I know how important it is for you to be able to give your children everything they want in the world because of how much you love them, the best thing you can give your kids is YOUR undivided attention and love. While I know it is tempting — due to the time crunch we are all on with work, school, and other commitments — please don’t take shortcuts when it comes to parenting! In this new year, let’s make this a universal goal. I believe in you all!
I also highly recommend “The Veldt.” It’s a quick yet powerful read. Check it out here: https://repositorio.ufsc.br/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/163728/The%20Veldt%20-%20Ray%20Bradbury.pdf