Philippides or even Alexander Graham Bell could not have imagined the speed at which communication and information is disseminated these days. Smartphones, the internet, social networks and all things technological are quite amazing for us “ole timers.”
However, the young generation does not remember a time without it. Babies know how to swipe the iPad to get their favorite character to appear. As with most things in life, this can be a great blessing or a distracting stumbling block depending on what we do with it.
- Too much screen time and gaming creates anxiety and aggression.
- Compulsive social media can create a false sense of security and project unrealistic profiles. As one of my friends says, she does not do “FakeBook.” People’s responses become as it were, our reflection of ourselves, instead of a clear self-examination and understanding of our standing before the Lord.
- Instant responses through media such as “likes” on Facebook or gaming victories release endorphins which lead to adrenaline addictions and a constant need for stimulation.
- I recently spoke with an elementary teacher, who commented she could tell a difference in the new generation of first graders who have grown up with IPads and devices. They have difficulty with “down time” and being still.
High Tech is here to stay, so it is important to learn to use it wisely and train our children to do so as well.
Here are some ideas for wise use:
- Limit use to specific times, places, and purposes
- No technology at the dinner table; it’s important to use this time to develop healthy family relationships
- Encourage your child to play outdoors and spend time developing skills and hobbies
- Warn your child of cyber predators
- Keep technology use in a family area and check periodically
- Keep technology out of your child’s bedroom or anywhere it is unsupervised
- Resist the urge to do impulsive searching and/or responding
Some of our high school students read a Faculty Literary Circle book this summer entitled 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You. The author, Tony Reinke, outlines twelve pitfalls to the misuse of technology. I would encourage you to read it as well.
Susan F. Causey lives in Macon and has served as our Elementary School Counselor at FPD since 2007. She received a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology from Vanderbilt University and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University with a certificate in Biblical Studies. She is married to Harold and they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Susan enjoys hanging out with her family, being outdoors, going on trips, biking, and working with clay. Her book, “Put on Your Ruby Slippers, We’re Heading Home – Straight Parenting in a Twister World,” is a collection of her columns offering loving, practical parenting advice for today’s young families. Copies are available for sale in the Elementary Office for $15. For more information or to contact Susan, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.