Children of the Future

Call me old-fashioned (mind you, I was born in 1984), but I kind of miss having to write a letter, mail it and not receive a response for days at a time or needing to take a ten minute walk over to my friend’s house to invite her over for a game of Monopoly. I remember having to bypass a DOS screen (the black screen of death), in order to play a computer game (does anyone remember Aladin?). If I had been told that in just over a decade I’ll be able to “Face Time” while simultaneously “Tweeting” and downloading a movie onto my “Apple TV”, I would call them insane. Seriously, when was the last time you had to use a payphone to call you your friend to pick you up because you were short on change for a bus ride? Do payphones even exist anymore? I’m pretty sure they’re being displayed in a museum somewhere.

It seriously frightens me to see 8 year olds with cell phones, texting their brains out as they wait to be picked up from school. I didn’t even have a pager at their age! Do you remember those? Exactly.  Have we thought about the implications of integrating technology into every aspect of our lives, especially the lives of our youths? Don’t get me wrong, I do acknowledge the benefits, such as parents being able to get a hold of their kids to let them know they’re running late to pick them up from school, or being able to track their whereabouts using the GPS locator in their cell phones or other devices. However, what concerns me is the fact that many parents are not mindful of how much technology their child is exposed to, which in my opinion is a terrible mistake. Texting is not the same thing as picking up a phone and using complete and coherent sentences to communicate. Developing interpersonal skills early on is invaluable in the development of child. Kids are easily influenced and are quick to pick up habits. While it is nearly impossible to safeguard kids from technology, I do believe that we should take the necessary steps to prevent them from solely relying on technology as a means of communication.

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