Monday 13 May 2013


My friend and I were discussing technology the other day and how it is affecting our children. Now that’s a loaded statement, isn’t it? I don’t think anyone can deny that the advancements in technology across the board are affecting our kids in a plethora of ways, positively and negatively. From access to an unbelievable amount of information at one’s fingertips thanks to the Internet, to the overstimulation from technological devices, I’d say that the fingerprint of the modern age on this generation is quite significant.

For starters, most three year olds can work an iPhone/iPad. I’m not kidding. In fact, if you hang around a group of toddlers, an unsettling thing starts to happen when you realize that they believe they can swipe their finger across any screen and it will turn on or do as they wish. It’s utterly disconcerting, and as much as I fight my husband on ever letting the King have a device of his own, I know eventually I will lose this battle; he fears that the King will ‘fall behind’ in technology, and as much as I want to laugh at this statement, he could be right. As far as I know, most six year olds may be able to write code by now; it would not surprise me in the slightest.

Then there is the outlet of self-expression that technology has provided which has left a profound mark on the youth of world. For starters, kids now can text, tweet, and send emails where in my day one could not. [In fact, we were reliant on the simple (and glorious handwritten letter (oh how I miss letters) to get our point across]. This has meant that for the shy and introverted, there is now a platform, behind a curtain if you will, to express his or herself. And with this shield of technology, the once shy can perhaps be less so. They may be too shy to cross a dance floor and talk to a boy they like, but posting their latest thought to him on Facebook in regards to the new Selena Gomez movie, that they can perhaps muster. This of course also opens things up to the more extroverted kid and means that they now too have a platform and all that it entails (okay okay we get it, you exist!) to tell their friends (and the world) about every thought in their head.

The interesting thing is, or annoying, depending on how you look at it, is that technology has also inspired creativity in the youth of today due to the multitude of ways one can express oneself. You see it all the time – and perhaps far too often – with kids and what they 'send/post' to their friends. The common email or text can now mean that the aspiring writer, or non-writer for that matter, can turn into a linguist or romantic poet; or at least attempt it. [Let’s be honest, most kids text in a shorthand that is not only incoherent but would have Shakespeare rolling in his grave]. As well as the aspiring musician can now post themselves singing in their bedroom with a guitar in hopes of becoming the next Justin Beiber. You see the endless possibilities? They’re alarming aren’t they? Nowadays, if a kid wants to say or do something, the Internet is their gateway to the biggest audience their young minds can conceive.

Then there is the voyeuristic culture thanks to social media that opens up another can of worms for this modern generation. They know they are seen and that they know they have a voice (even if it's just on social media), but they’re not always aware of how to use it or the repercussions of that. Not to mention, they are also exposed to a whole host of information and images that often result in them learning far more than their young brains can tolerate or should be processing. Don't get me wrong, I want to believe that there are positives to technology for the younger generation; it gives those who feel invisible a place to feel visible; it allows those with a creative bent to exercise this, not to mention it provides a connection to their friends and the world in a way that was not possible before. 

But of course the jaded, more protective part of me fears that technology breeds an advancement in kids that most are not ready for, not to mention, an ethos that life is meant to be lived on display. You talk to a young person today about privacy or discretion and they look at you as if you’re mad. But why wouldn’t I share my every thought, whim and desire? 'Don't you get it, I can, so therefore, I must.' 

All I can say is, at least with all these advancements it means I can track the King's every sodding move, even down to his movements thanks to his cell phone. You see, I can. So therefore...well you get the picture.

Happy Monday.

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