We have spoken here of balance before, and this next story perfectly epitomizes the need for that very perspective. With children of all ages returning to school this week, many parents and experts have expressed anything from mild concern to full blown anxiety over children’s alleged over-engagement with technology.
Everything from smart phones to laptops to tablets to video game devices the nitty-gritty of over-indulgence in Facebook to lowered grades to the potential health issues caused by excessive time spent online are all being considered in a kind of perfect storm of potential threats to the general wellbeing of our youth.
Now, of course, we at SOLOS recognize these dangers, too. There is sufficient evidence to demonstrate their reality as genuine threats. University studies
The important thing to remember is that word again: balance. Children’s lives have become complex, certainly the demands on their time have increased, and it is incumbent upon both parents and other caregivers and stakeholders that the former are provided with the opportunity to both engage with the technology, but also be given proper breaks from it, whether at school or in the home. Choose activities that are both physical and social. This is not to minimize the threat, but too much of anything is probably not a great idea, and this really does boil down to common sense in the end. Tailor any limits to the individual, taking into account maturity levels, etc. And as the article itself emphasizes, show flexibility. Avoid absolutes, in other words, unless of course you enjoy adolescent rebellion.
Update: Here’s a more balanced article on this topic, more in line with the sentiments expressed above.