I am raising digital natives and I love it. Technology is a big part of our lives. My brother-in-law once jokingly asked: “Is there a pen in this highly digitalized household?”
“iPad” was among my now 2-year old’s first 50 words. When we Skype with my parents, sometimes my 4-year old gets tired and tries to swipe my father’s image away because she thinks that my laptop has a touchscreen.
There are many ways to approach digitalization. Some parents, bloggers and researchers focus on the negative impact digital technology (and technology in general) can have on our lives. They give tips on reducing screen time, warn against oversharing and treat technology as something that needs to be tightly controlled.
Others are amazed by the opportunities that technology offers us. They mention the community- building aspects of social media platforms, the opportunity to access information everywhere and at any time, and remark that our lives have been made much easier by digital technology.
Where do I stand on this? More in the technology-is-awesome camp.
As an expat, I appreciate the possibilities to not only hear my parents’ voices, but to also see them- and they can see the children. I can use my iPad to do yoga with the children, and to connect with them that way. We don’t have a TV, but instead we use our computers to watch TV series and movies, and read the news. I love taking pictures and I have a digital SLR. That way, I can take tons of photos to choose the very best. And I haven’t even touched on the great advantages I get from blogging. My hands rebel when I try to draw or paint, but my computer allows me to do just that.
I view technology as a tool that can be used to our advantage without taking control over our lives. I think that there is a time and place for everything. I love the term “digital natives”. Just as our children can teach us how to speak another language, we can learn to use all these wonderful devices and find delight in using them.
On the other hand, we can teach children to use technology and social media responsibly. I also think that we can teach them the world of paper books and sounds without a picture, and the world outside of the house rather than the world inside of their devices.
To me it is obvious that technology has much to offer in terms of education and play. But I believe that through technology we not only can connect with a device, but with our children (and grandchildren!) as well.
What is your approach to modern technology? Do you love it or hate it?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our writer and mother of two in the Netherlands, Olga Mecking.
The photograph used in this post was taken by the author.
I’m rather “technologically challenged” myself but I’m SUPER grateful that my hubby and kids are so tech savvy! 🙂
Most of my family and friends live overseas, so Skype and Facebook are absolute godsends for keeping in touch. In fact, I’m super grateful for the Internet, because without it we wouldn’t be able to have World Moms Blog! I totally agree that there are more benefits than downsides to technology. That is not to say that it’s totally risk free … but then nothing is! As long as you use common sense and keep some balance with both indoor and outdoor activities, I say go for it!!
Thank you, Simona! I think we’re always more technology challneged than our children, because new devices are being invented all the time. Oh yes of course, without Internet there would be no World Moms Blog- and it would be a great loss to society- an dto us as contributors! I am so grateful for all these opportunities technology bring!
I LOVE Technology!! I totally know the kid swiping the laptop thinking it’s an iPad or iPhone scenario! My parents are only an hour from us but with busy work schedules facetime makes for a great way to “see” each other. We play outside ALL the time, I would say we frequent playgrounds more then most we know and both kids play soccer but when they want downtime or to be occupied when out at a “boring” restaurant I say bring on the iPad and iPhone!
Yes, exactly, Sarah! We don’t have a TV, but we have iPads and computers- adn I think that way we can also control better what the children watch and play with! We’re also outside a lot, but the iPad is just the right thing for teaching letters and sounds!
I find the quantity of technology makes a difference when observing my daughters. Too much screen time makes them overstimulated and overtired.
Also, the quality of the technology — my favorite uses for kids — skyping with their Great Granny and grandparents overseas in England, some puzzle/strategy games and 2nd language immersion.
Jennifer, yes! It IS about quality and quantity! There are so many great games, apps, and programmes for tablets and computers, and it’s about finding them! And then of course there is the world beyond technology which is also quite exciting! We’re lucky to have technology, so we should use it wisely! For example, to write for World Moms Blog 🙂
I struggle with technology for children younger than nine years old because of the effects it has on their brains and also for what they are not doing while entertained by technology. I have seen some pretty serious after-reactions in children (and adults for that matter) and see an equal decrease in their ability to entertain themselves.
For older children I accept it is useful and part of modern life but still would prefer it in small doses for the same reasons.
Karyn, you have a point of course. I believe technology has to be used wisely. As for the “what they’re not doing” argument, the same goes for books! of course one needs to be careful, but I think there is a time and place for everything!
I am like you Olga and love technology. Thanks to my iPad, my 3 year old knew her number and letters before starting preschool. Although I make sure that there are limits. The amount of time that electronic devices can be used, and when they can be used. One of my biggest pet peeves, is when I am in a restaurant and I see a table full of children, each with their own device in front of them, instead of having meaningful dinnertime conversation with the family. It’s about finding the right balance for your family.
Yes, it’s about balance and using the right technology for the right reasons, I think. However, as for the faily at the restaurant, I think they have their reasons and they could use what they’re doing on their tablets as a conversation topic.
Love this! My job puts me away from the house on business for about 5 days of each month, and I Skype with my kids nearly every day I’m away. Sometimes they bring “me” down to the basement and prop “me” up on a shelf so that I can watch them tear around on their scooters. It’s a healthy addition to our already active life.