Technology changes everything. There are very few aspects of our lives that haven’t been transformed, or at least touched, by our digital advancements. Digital devices are good for educational development and have helped us become a more efficient and intelligent society—and the technology is always progressing. Not everyone is eager to proclaim the benefits.
The Anti-Device Movement: What Is It?
Many parents are choosing to distance their children from technology. In most cases, research that likens digital devices to dangerous drugs is persuading parents to cut back on their children’s exposure to tech. While it is true that interactive technology creates pleasurable sensations within the brain, many other activities do as well. Eating sugar, for example, leads to a substantial release of hormones like dopamine – just like illicit drugs. Still, billions of people lead relatively normal lives regardless of their sugar intake.
With publications dramatizing the effects of technology on our children, it’s easier for some parents to justify foregoing digital interactions for their children altogether. Some parents place strict limits on time with technology and others just don’t allow these devices in their house at all. In some cases, parents go so far as complaining to school administrators when teachers use devices inside the classroom. Despite the popularity of this movement, jumping on the “restricting tech” bandwagon is probably not the smartest choice for your child.
Why Ignoring Technology Could Hold Your Child Back
It’s no surprise that parents make extreme decisions in pursuit of a better life for their children. A bit of simple reasoning, however, can help them make the best choices. It’s no different when it comes to technology. Several logical points tell us why digital devices deserve a place in our lives:
You can’t ignore the world. No matter how you feel about technology, you cannot fight its presence. Every day we become more dependent on our devices and more synchronized across the digital world. In most cases, we need basic knowledge of how to operate a computer, check our email, and operate an ATM to get through our day-to-day tasks. If you train your child to dislike or avoid technology, you’re setting up him or her for potential failure. Fluency in digital language has become a mandatory life skill.
Children like to rebel. Taking away their devices won’t necessarily stop them from accessing technology, or the internet. They’re likely to take advantage of access at friends’ houses or even borrow devices.
There’s a lot to learn through technology. Infinite tools and information are just a few taps and clicks away. There are numerous programs and games designed to make learning easier, more natural, and more fun. Avoiding digital devices could mean missing out on some of your child’s potential.
Devices can be helpful physically too. Everyone knows how Pokémon™ GO encouraged millions of players to start walking and exploring the real world around them – all in pursuit of intangible rewards. This phenomenon is called “exergaming,” and it could be a valuable tool for creating healthier, more active children.
Balance Is the Key to Success and Happiness
As with anything in life, the best results come from moderation. It’s impossible to ignore the presence of technology, but that doesn’t mean our children should see unlimited use, either. Many experts recommend simple steps, such as eliminating screen exposure for children younger than two years of age and setting a consistent schedule each night.
Some parents find great success comparing physical activity and technology time to the food pyramid. Making this type of visualization clearly shows children how to create balanced lives. Parenting is changing. To prepare children adequately, you must be willing to adapt.
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