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.
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?
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