Technology is not the enemy. Just like the splitting of atoms was not the enemy.
It’s what we DO with the technology and science that is the thing.
People feel like that have to wage war against these “things”.
I don’t agree.
We have to separate the things from the underlying root causes or actions of PEOPLE that do the wrong things with the “things”.
Personally…I love being connected to my friends by facebook. As a busy working mom…I rarely get the luxury of getting to spend face to face time with them. I WISH things were different, but I am not a pioneer woman doing chores and quilting bees with the other women in the village where I get to socialize as much as I would love to.
Things are different. We have to accept that.
And rather than be completely isolated – I really enjoy being able to check in with my friends if they choose to share what is going on with them. I get to laugh with them…or cry with them and support them if needed. I get the chance to be a better friend.
However…if I start hearing, “Mommy – are you on FB again?” that is where I recognize I have crossed a line. I am no longer being a “good friend”, and am being a less than stellar mom. I am guilty. When I hear something like that I know that I have taken something positive and made it a negative. I am modeling disrespectful behavior, and being a bad role model for my girls. (I think I just heard myself bray like a donkey…)
That is when technology becomes the enemy.
And that is why we put the phone down and remember our kids are only at this very stage for a split second and hold on even a little tighter to the moment. (After we take a quick picture of what is happening to remember for later of course). THEN we put the phone down. Hahaha.
Technology is also an enemy when your kids become so consumed with it that they forget to do their chores, skip assignments, and in general abuse the privilege that it really is. Because that’s what it is – a privilege…not a right. No matter how much they seem to think it is a right.
And as parents that is when we take away the privilege for a period of time.
Technology is the enemy when your preteen child gets into a verbally offensive altercation with another student in a chat room where others can also observe and read what is going on.
That is when we intervene and remind them of the dangers of this amazing privilege. How easily a conversation or picture can go viral. How being a good responsible technology user has benefits reaching far beyond their limited comprehension. And how being a bad tech user…also has unimaginable consequences.
And yes…that is why I monitor her usage, her interactions and conversations from time to time.
Some may call that a violation of privacy.
I call it active and responsible parenting in the year 2014.
And what I am preaching – I also must practice myself.
Rather than banning something (which usually never works to any real positive results) why not embrace it, model healthy behaviors, set moderate time limits around it, and, heaven forbid…even have FUN with it. My girls and I have a lot of great laughs watching cat and dog videos. It can actually be a bonding tool and moment. And these are teaching moments on how to search the web and how NOT to click on certain suspicious looking sites.
Our kids are only going to be exposed to technology in more and greater ways than right now. Personally, I would rather my kids learn how to manage these things along WITH me, in my household, under my roof. Not when they are at someone else’s house, or on their own. I think this whole thing is a partnership. By trying to ban something or refusing to participate in the the progression of society, is kind of asking to be disconnected unfortunately. But…that is just my small opinion and point of view.
So – next time someone tells you technology is the enemy or even sillier yet – if you get a viral FB post about how awful smartphones and FB are – as you are reading it on your smartphone through FB (That is called IRONY, people) think about it in a balanced approach and use your own head.
It doesn’t mean you have to ban yourself from FB or smartphone usage to be a better person and live in regret any time you pick the thing up. If you are as sensitive as me…maybe even consider flogging yourself…
But it does mean you should be respectful, interactive with the real people right in front of you, and mindful of your virtual presence and footprint.
Why do we have to be reminded of that anyway!? THAT in itself is the scary part to me.
Guilty as I may be charged – I consider THAT the biggest wake up call.
It’s not complicated.
Don’t be an ass.