Do you remember those heady days before mobile phones, tablet and games consoles? When the world was paved with gold and the sky full of rainbows? Ok, maybe the rose tinted glasses need toning down a little! There are so many advantages to all of the advances in technology and it’s often a life saver having so much power in the palm of our hands. I have an old diary entry about trying to meet up with a friend when I was a teenager, I was going to be late and there was no way of contacting her to say so. We found each other eventually, but there were at least a couple of hours lost through no available method of communication. Even so, sometimes I miss those days of no social media, limited modes of communication and a clear cut off between different social circles and situations. A never ending stream of information can feel overwhelming sometimes. If I feel this way then there’s every possibility that my children could feel the same. With so much potential power within smart phones and the like, both for good and plenty of not so good, it leads to a lot of considered thought into how to manage it effectively.
It’s something that’s on my mind as my children are getting closer to the age of having their own mobile phone. I’ve often wondered if the associated symptoms of addictive behaviour linked to technology are grounded in absolute fact or are, as yet, just theories. Listening to this feature helped bring a little light to the subject, with discussion about addictive behaviours and technology in childhood. In summary, the rewards gained from engaging in games, social media etc are the addictive element rather than the devices themselves. Due to the relatively recent advent of modern technology, our children are venturing into the unknown, with potential negative side effects that may be experienced from overuse of phones and tablets etc still a bit of a mystery.
I feel ok about erring on the side of caution and sticking with limited time on iPads, whilst still thinking how I’m going to negotiate the coming years and the challenges they will inevitably bring.