The Power of Parents and Technology. Who is more powerful?
By: Cristina Pereira
“Technology may be the most powerful force in the world today” states Jim Taylor in the opening of his article in Psychology Today, ‘Parenting: Who is More Powerful: Technology or Parents?” This is an accurate assessment of the current situation we face not only in the private area of our homes but also in every social aspect that we participate in. In the 21st century, technology has been allowed to become an encompassing all-consuming force. What price has the wired world demanded? What are we losing in this battle against technology?
“Technology may be the most powerful force in the world today” states Jim Taylor, PhD.
How many parents and educators out there feel that technology is engulfing our children at an alarming rate? Frighteningly enough, it “affects our children cognitively, emotionally, socially, culturally, and physically.” Ever-so children are more isolated, more lonely, more inhibited and less expressive. Their ‘real’ world is slowly becoming the wired world, while the physical world is becoming ever more dull and stimulating. Children of today spend less time outside playing, expanding their imagination and exercising their bodies, all things necessary for personal development, and more time indoors connected to the wired world. Here come the child zombies.
Parents and educators, we are facing a cultural intrusion. It has become ever so more difficult to filter, protect and prevent our children from coming in touch with viral information, as well as inappropriate or harmful content. “Popular culture is now an almost inescapable presence in your children’s lives, enabling it to influence them more often, more directly, and more powerfully than at any time in the past.” Have you ever heard of the notorious momo or seen a video of Miley Cyrus twerking? No one, absolutely no one, ever, in the history of humanity wants their kids to see that.
“Popular culture is now an almost inescapable presence in your children’s lives, enabling it to influence them more often, more directly, and more powerfully than at any time in the past.”
All this seems so daunting. But there is a bright light at the end of this long wired tunnel, Parents and Educators, we are not powerless against this invasion. Taylor urges us to take a more dominant role when it comes to technology, reminding us that “technology is just a tool and it is what we do with it that determines whether it helps or hurts our children.“ Let us take accountability for the function we play in this phenomenon. We must become actively vigilant and aware participants and take back the reigns of what our children are exposed to. What is more lovely than ensuring that our children continue to flourish?
Taylor invites us to “ explore the role of technology in our children’s lives, and proposes four questions to help judge whether technology is beneficial or harmful to their development.” These questions also allow us to explore the very important role we perform as gatekeepers in our children’s lives when it comes to technology.
Read Jim Taylor’s full article here.
- How often are your children immersed in technology?
- What is the quality of content to which they are exposed?
- To what degree do you provide limits and guidance in your children’s interactions with technology?
- How much counterbalancing exposure do your children get from positive influences and experiences?
- Why is technology so encompassing? How much of our lives truly is influenced and ran by technology?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. You can check out another one of our articles on helping kids deal with the stress back to school, here.
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