Our Children and Technology: Part 1–Positive Aspects of Technology
POSITIVE ASPECTS OF TECHNOLOGY FOR OUR CHILDREN
Technology has often gotten a very bad rap around the topic of children’s use of it. It’s important to be realistic. We cannot and should not deny our children access to technology and screen time; the goal is balance and moderation. Before we dive into the warnings and caveats around our children’s engagement with screens in my next blog post, let’s begin on a positive note about what good things technology is doing for our children.
Click this link for more information about the positive and negative effects of technology on children.
First, we all recognize that in our continually shrinking world, technology helps our children access most places on the globe like never before. We are raising a truly internationally-minded generation of children who is not intimidated by the thought of having diverse contacts and friends worldwide. I believe that accessing these global contacts can help our children move out of their silos and genuinely expand their minds to more international perspectives.
Persons outside the U.S. often accuse us of being ethnocentric, or convinced that our ways are superior to those of members of other cultures and countries. We are also accused of being very insular, ignorant of any culture outside our own. As someone who was raised in southeast Asia, I think that there is some truth to these perceptions.
For me, one of the very best aspects of technology is the ability, at our fingertips, to learn about faraway cultures and ideas that we would never have access to otherwise. Today’s youngest adults, Generation Z, consider the world their oyster. Thanks to technology, they think nothing of having friends in various places around our globe.
Keeping in Touch with Friends and Family
For me as a mother, the second-best thing about technology is being able to keep in touch with my family and friends very easily. When my only child Mark moved 3,000 miles away to attend college, what a comfort to be able to text him. Or, in another example, my father is older and lives four hours away round trip. Luckily he is healthy, but has had heart problems and a few other medical issues. I am so thankful that my sister who lives nearby can text me and let me know how he is doing. Technology helps our children maintain ready contact with us, and that is so comforting for parents. Consider the young child whose parent travels a great deal for work. Skyping, facetiming, and zooming don’t replace the parent’s physical presence, but it is absolutely better than nothing.
Ease of Learning New Information
A third positive aspect of technology for our children is the ability to learn new information about an unfamiliar topic rapidly and easily. This helps broaden their world views and expand their knowledge bases to an unlimited number of topics. Check the website below for more about this:
A fourth positive aspect of our children using technology is that, as we know, schools and workplaces expect strong tech skills. Employers look for these skills in every potential new hire. All of us as caregivers want our children to have every advantage by helping them be well prepared for the workforce in terms of tech skills.
A fifth positive aspect of our children using technology is that they will fit in with their peers better. Our children will be out of the loop socially if they can’t discuss technology with their friends and demonstrate some level of technological competence.
Let’s not forget the positive aspects of technology, and be sure to share them openly with our children. We can help them find balance through careful attention to their daily technology use and habits.