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Monday, December 10, 2018

Technology And Children

Opting out of the I-phone revolution has sparked a few testy interactions with my wife and prompted incredulity from others. But most of my recent reflecting and conversations about technology haven't been about my resistance. These days, it's the effect all these inescapable devices seem to be having on younger people that troubles me.

I wish last night's "60 Minutes" segment about this issue had assuaged some of my concerns. But the longitudinal studies cited on the show - research being conducted to measure the effect of ubiquitous screens on young brains - were sobering. The research is preliminary; several experts went out of their way stress this. Still, the researchers interviewed shared many of my concerns and also echoed what Sherry Turkle so expertly dissected in her excellent 2015 book "Reclaiming Conversation."  Watching those toddlers get seriously attached to I-tablets in that "60 Minutes" piece has stayed with me all day.    

If I were new parent, how would I protect my young child against this onslaught? How would you?            

2 comments:

  1. I share your concern and don't have an easy answer. I know I wouldn't give a very young child a cell phone or tablet. I would make sure they went out of doors daily. I would ban phones and tablets from the dinner table. That's all I can think of...its a start. A few years ago we were in a restaurant in NYC on a Sunday night and a little girl who looked to be no more than two spent the entire time on a phone watching something, presumably a movie. Yuck!

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    1. Ines; Thanks for your comment. In my experience, that restaurant scene you describe is - sadly - not uncommon.

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