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Tech is harming our social skills?

So the general consensus is that mobiles and other tech is harming our face to face social skills.

 

Is it? I mean, are the likes of Apple and Samsung to blame for what seems a lack of social skills in today’s society?

This post is linked closely to another I’ve written recently What age should a kid have a phone? Then today I read another similar post from Nigel Higgins (DIY Daddy Blog) – Mobile phones and my 4 year old twins and Nige got thinking again about kids and tech.

Parents are scared about the effects technology will have on our children as they grow up. Are we scared because society suggests our face to face communication skills are suffering or because we have no idea what lasting effects growing up with tech will have, it’s unknown. Kids today are the first generation that don’t know anything else, in turn making us the first generation of parents having to guess what’s best, what age should they be introduced and how much use is too much?

My boy is almost 4, he has a tablet, consumes tonnes of digital content and lives with myself, his mother and two sisters whom all use tech daily. However, his imagination is also incredible, he can easily play non stop all day without the thought of his tablet crossing his mind. As for social skills, anyone that interacts with him will agree he’s definitely greater advanced than a typical 3-4 year old. So is the easily accessible tech he has on offer harming his social development in any way, I don’t believe so. This is mainly the reason why I question the general consensus around today’s feelings over technology. My wife and I will continue to manage his consumption, watch his development and judge it as we go.

pic2tech
Image from: socialonya.wordpress.com

Here’s a thought. People can sometimes look at tech and social media as the problem. They’re visual, physical things that we can pass the blame to. The media tells us that using our phones too much etc is harming our social development and we believe it. I’d like to put another spin on this. Mobile phones, tablets, apps, social media are all objects and platforms that have been built and designed to aid us in the digital world we live in, to connect with family across the globe and to in some cases enhance our lives. This being said, is it maybe our mindset that is in fact the problem. Samsung, Apple and others don’t force us to glue our phones to our faces, they don’t include an addictive drug free with every device. So could it be that it is our own mindset that needs to alter towards technology? Face to face social skills have been difficult to master since the beginning of time. Some people find it incredibly difficult to interact in person, tech is certainly enhancing their lives. Other people find it very easy to talk to anyone and everyone, tech shouldn’t change that. Our children will grow up with technology an integral part of their everyday lives, their social skills will be developed based on how we adults teach them. Confidence, manners and good vocabulary which build face to face social skills, shouldn’t be subconsciously ignored because it’s easier to blame today’s technology than to take the time to manage and teach children how to balance the two.

Our parenting is being tested in ways other generations haven’t been. Technology is developing at a faster rate than ever before. It doesn’t have to take over your life, use it as it was intended, to make life easier.

As always, thanks for reading, all feedback appreciated and I’ll see you online, maybe?

@dadvworld

 

I’m linking this post up to #LinkyBinky

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6 thoughts on “Tech is harming our social skills?

  1. I agree with you. Before the birth of the internet I was limited to getting drunk to socially interact with people.
    With FB and twitter I now interact with far more people.

    From work and general life I can cope with face to face interaction.

    When I was young they blames the tv for killing conversation.

    In 30 years time they will be blaming something else.

    #binkylinky

  2. Mmmm, I fear I am not as liberally minded as you. I am undoubtedly slightly older than you and I notice a difference between people of my age and those half my age. Are younger people’s social skills damaged? Sometimes, yes. It’s not universal, but I notice that some people live their life online (note I say some). They make and break friendships online instead of face to face.

    You’re clearly quite sensible and limit what your four year old does online. What about the parents who let their eight year old play Call of Duty? I have had people comment on my blog saying their children use facetime WhatsApp etc to communicate with their friends all evening and to deny them this would be wrong. How about having the kids round to play, removing all wireless devices and getting them to play in a nearby forest / park etc? There has to be a balance between outside play and using tech and some families don’t provide this.

    Yes, the negative effects of tech can be overstated. Even so, it has to be used with caution, especially by kids.

    1. You’re absolutely right John. Getting the balance right is the key. It’s the same with most aspects of parenting, chocolate, fast food etc. You want your children to have these things but in moderation. There are definitely some parents that choose an easy life instead and give their kids free reign over everything, too much technology, junk food and even too much outdoor play! I’ve seen kids as young as 3 and 4 playing outside in the street as late as 10pm, being supervised by only their older siblings who are about 6 or 7, that’s just wrong. I think the power of technology and the benefits it can offer needs to be embraced. It’s a powerful tool that when used in the correct manner and in moderation, can enhance certain aspects of your life including social skills. It’s a scary new world that’s developed especially over the last 5-10 years and who really knows what effects tech will have on our kids until they grow up. No matter what subject we discuss, it all boils down to the parenting. It’s our jobs to make these calls, how much is too much etc. Thanks for reading, really appreciate your comment. PS, you’re not that old surely? 😀😀😀

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