To be academically correct, the whole concept of technology as the new society, would be to demonstrate the theory of modernism vs post-modernism. But hey! this is a blog, open to all and particularly targeted at the worried parent who feels that an unprecedented relationship with the microchip has created an inability to associate with their child. We now appear to perceive our children and young people as cyborgs , incapable of attaining human interaction, feeling and personal thought.
There are many theories surrounding our use and over-use of technology. Is it harmful? Are we creating a generation of unthinking zombies? Well, yes and no. Aristotle, wisely coined the phrase meden agan, which roughly translates to; the excess of nothing. You see, we as a race have long known that too much of a good thing generally causes problems and technology is probably no exception. But, lets face it, we are talking kids and teenagers here. They often do not accept, or want to accept, that too much is a bad thing- of anything! So, what do we, as parents, have to do to relate and understand this whole technology/media/social networking thingy? There’s one simple answer:
Get with it !
- Buy a mobile phone. Not a basic five-year old model, but a smartphone. Learn how to use it. YouTube is a learning tool, it will at the very least, show you the basics of the model.
- Set up a Facebook account. This is self-explanatory and will show you step by step EXACTLY what you have to do.
- Once set up with your social media account (thats Facebook as described above!) ask friends and work colleagues to “add” you as a friend. Before you know it, the kids may even add you too (but, do not count on this).
- If there is access to an X Box 1 or a PS 4 in the house, use it. If you don’t know how to, then once again browse YouTube. Take over the system, play games, get used to it and then challenge your little darlings to enter the realms of the underworld with you.
OK, so you have the basics of how to be involved, of how to become a Technophile (that’s someone who embraces and welcomes the advance and use of technology). So how is this going to improve family life if you are all sat with your head down staring at a screen? Surely, this will fuel the divide? According to some theorists; yes it will, yet others dispute the fact and see technology spanning the generations as only a good thing . Confused??
There is a solution and that is one which depends on which type of parent you are and how you want to parent. You may be a parent who spends time rushing their kids dinner, so you can get back to your emails. You may evade the bedtime story as you have a Skype call at the same time, leaving your child upset and alone. Or, you may be a parent that believes all technology is banned from the dinner table and that internet access is based in the public domain of the kitchen area, thus allowing you to “see all” over your child’s shoulder.
It is important that parents can relate to the technology that their kids are using, which is exactly why I gave the pointers above. We are caregivers and protectors and it is important that we can see and understand which sites and domains our children use, child protection is our responsibility and not one that we can hand over to parental controls on the laptop or tablet. If we can become familiar with their world and their advances, it can create new approaches for parents, both personally and career-wise. Although, family members continue to separate into their own private domains and leave parents feeling devoid of human interaction, this presents an ideal opportunity for us to familiarize ourselves with technology. As parents and adults, we have one advantage over children. We are developed enough to have self-control. And therein lies the solution to the family divide…….
Index of images:
- https://pixabay.com/en/header-banner-head-display-dummy-915122/. Thanks to: Geralt for the image.CC0 Public Domain.Free for commercial use. No attribution required.
- Meme-self generated original.