Will Your Child use Technology … or Will The technology Control your Child?

I am seeing more and more children who appear to be on the losing side when it comes to whether technology will be a powerful tool for good in their lives or a plague that can severely undermine their ability to fulfill their potential in life. I’m having personal experiences at home with my son, too, that raise difficult questions and challenges about what is right at what age. Perhaps what concerns and troubles me most here in India is that parents are to such a great extent oblivious to the facts, the implications or even that they have anything to worry about.

I’m pleased when I see articles such as this sensitive and very human piece from Mashable where the writer shares her personal family experiences with technology. We have all seen how some adults fall prey to the allure of addictive and compulsive behaviour.

Mashable Article: Are you raising tech-addicted kids?

For teenagers especially the ability to control or restrain impulse, to self-regulate and discipline or to maintain proportion are still developing and are therefore highly vulnerable. We still don’t know or understand yet the full perils or implications. However, if we have a sense that there is risk and that the risk is more than superficial, then I believe we owe it to our children to make ourselves as informed as we can and to then be the voice of reason and to help our children to limit their exposure to the risks.

For me personally, a few months ago, this entailed setting an example by removing all games from my phone and laptop. This was something I needed to do so that I could be crystal clear to my son that if I was doing something on a screen, there was a strong chance that it was something meaningful and productive, not something mindless and potentially addictive. Not necessarily a message he wanted to hear, but one I needed him to hear loud and clear.

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7 Responses

  1. Technology is something a diverse medium to stay tuned. I believe , you said it right about setting an example for children to follow.

    But then , I always think to myself , Isn’t it Media also partly responsible for merchandising & promoting Hyper Networking , be different mediums , Mr. Mark .

    I thought we all have collective responsibility towards younger generation .

  2. Everyone has their own approaches to this challenge that we all face as parents…and my ‘weapon’ to fight technology controlling our children has been…technology!

    More specifically, I’ve found two technologies to be very helpful. The first is the time limit restrictions functionality in Windows 7. Our computers at home are set by default with all time limits blocked. Then, whenever a child needs to use the computer, I open time limits for that time – one hour or two hours maximum. This way the computer automatically shuts off after the allowed time, and children also cannot access computers unless I’ve opened time limit windows.

    The other technology is an internet filter. We all know about these, but I’m not sure if we all use them. These are a must! I’m not mentioning any specific ones, but I’ve tried three of the top ones, and all are very good. You can block specific categories and even specific sites. Also, most provide a log, so – if one wishes – then one can even see actual sites visited. Thus, by using an internet filter, the computer is helping to ‘monitor’ their usage.

    • Very Simple and practical way out. Mr.Rohit , in today’s time Technology throws a new challenge at every paramount of step an inch.

      What do you think , if our children are sensitized naturally to have judgement , about things over there . I mean where the Teachers & Parents come in picture over here , if you think this makes sense .

      • I agree with you Ms. Jetley. Yes, we have a responsibility to talk openly with our children about responsible internet behavior (just as we should talk with them openly about other important youth/teen topics also).

        However, even once kids are aware of how to behave responsibly, I would still advocate the above two items. The first because sometimes kids just lose track of time and thus with time limits one can avoid this risk. The second because, even if they don’t intend to go to any inappropriate website, just a simple misspelling of a website by one character can cause this to happen inadvertently. A filter will protect them in this type of situation from seeing inappropriate content.

  3. Mr.Rohit , this is third time thanks to a tech glitch I am drafting same Comment , I wish instead of writing , I could now scream . Word Press got me into this that. But , I am back though with tight jaw .

    Let me quickly but back to calm manner make a point that what , what , what do you think about Mr. Mark talking about setting an example to follow ?

    Only hope , my message is posted this chance.

    • Agreed Ms. Jetley. Kids definitely learn more from our actions than our words, so agreed that we should set the appropriate example and follow the guidelines that we expect our children to follow.

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