Is Technology A Positive Or Negative Conduit In a Child’s Life?

Even though technology constitutes the driving force of the modern society, there is no way to label it as innately negative, positive or even neutral. You may be tempted to award it the title of absolute neutrality, but it is necessary to remember the impact that tech has on people’s life and its unique ability to reshape our thought process as well as overall modus operandi. From the start, technology should be viewed in its entirety rather than as the latest developments in mobile communications (smartphones, tablets, etc.). The television and the radio also constitute conduits through which your children gain access to the outside world, although they are quickly becoming obsolete.

Technology: “Now” and “Then”

The key difference between the social order that your children live in nowadays and the one in which you –as a parent – was raised is the incredibly facile access to global communications and the permeability of the home to the popular culture. To put it simply, if television was the promoter and the first stepping stone of globalization, the internet constitutes the final nail in the coffin of traditionalist societies. However, leaving the content aside for a second, the conduit itself is an aspect that should also deserves some consideration.

Content versus medium

For instance, most communications nowadays are performed via SMS, MMS, email, social media, etc. At this point, researchers have just scratched the surface of the problem, but they have revealed that the method of communicating and receiving information presents an important impact on the emotional perception, attention span, cognitive capabilities and physical development of children. Furthermore, the content seems to have a hand in redefining the children’s expectations, self-image, understanding of interpersonal relationships, so on and so forth. There is some bad news as well: no clear can determine whether technology has a constructive or destructive influence on the personality of the children born in the digital era exists.

Are parents really that helpless?

Truth be told, the influence that parents have on their kids nowadays is considerably diminished and continues to grow weaker due to the overwhelming tsunami of information bombarding the young minds. However, you cannot deprive the children of technology completely and it would be unethical to educate them that it is inherently malicious. At the same time, it would be unrealistic of you to expect children to dissociate between the positive features and the associated risks of modern tech.

The only sensible thing to do in this case is trying to understand the complex implications that tech has in the life of your children. Therefore, the first questions you need to ask yourself concern the frequency with which the child utilizes the available tech, the type of content and its quality. You have to evaluate the degree of limitations and counseling that should be provided in order to mitigate the cascade of risks without impacting on the rewards.

However, if you feel that these tasks are intimidating and you do not have the means to approach them correctly, there is always the option of visiting a local therapist and scheduling counseling sessions for your child. Remember, tech dependency can be as dangerous as any other addiction, particularly during the period when the child’s personality is developing.

Alison Strate