Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Realities of Electronics

Today a friend and I were comparing the lives of our children with our own childhoods with regards to multiple input. It is not unusual for a child today to be texting and listening to an iPod, while talking to a friend sitting next to her, and there might even be a TV or computer game involved, as well. No doubt kids are better multitaskers when it comes to digital input than many of us adults, but what is the long-term impact? Are they increasing mental abilities, or simply not developing the capacity to really focus, or have much of an attention span?

One of my friend's doctors has suggested the latter, based on an article for which I do not have a reference. She said the tvs, cell phones, and other electronic devices need to be strictly limited until over the age of 18. This makes sense on some level, but there is the reality that children have to compete in the real world. Taking away their technology might put them at a serious disadvantage - limiting their skills and understanding of cultural norms and expectations. On the other hand, it could give them a distinct advantage. Maybe they would develop skills lacking in many of their peers.

1 comment:

Lynilu said...

I remember when I was 12-15 sitting with the phone on one ear, a radio bud in the other, the TV on in front of me, and doing homework. All at once. Was that a good idea? Good study habits? I doubt it. However, I don't know that it did me any damage. I graduated with excellent grades, retained a high IQ, in spite of that awful habit.

I have had concerns about the growing amount of technology and how it seems to grab hold of each generation, but who knows. I think our schools are not doing as good a job these days, but perhaps it is because our brains are being messed with by the electronics. Who can really say? I suspect this argument will probably go on forever.