Caution and Intelligence is the keyword
Over the last 10 years or so, three companies in the global tech world have dominated the IT Industry. They are Microsoft, Google and Facebook. These companies have influenced the lives and minds of a complete generation like never before. As long as they did well, from their direct business issues and manifested their growth to direct business terms, it was OK. I don’t think, I would have bothered much. But they have done a lot more.
Today’s youth has almost forgotten the concept, of ‘real life experiences’ or historical learning through books or even communicating their well-being, interaction with friends and families, directly in writing, reading or talking. They get these information or do these things through Google/FB/Microsoft and not through experiences.
These will have a very serious fall out with the entire social fabric of the world in general and youth in particular. Misuse of any information or skill or technology is a natural human phenomena, but parents might try and instill ‘experience’ as a serious learning mechanism, apart from study and learning. Today, when a General Knowledge question like ‘Who is the President of Ghana?’ is asked to the son/daughter, he/she will quickly ‘Google’ the name and get the correct answer. We tend to forget that in his learning process, they did not learn that in a normal way. We heave a sigh of relief and say, the society is changing and keep quiet. Is that enough ? Or should we make our kids the ‘normal’ where they will learn from nature, their surrounding, through challenges and interactions. Many of us, when we were kids, used to see our Dad/Mom read a novel/story book even before a baby learnt to talk. We learnt reading books was a good habit and tried to inculcate that habit in our system of growing up. But now? Does that happen? We need to think and ponder.
Use of technology can be beneficial to a child’s development and growth but not always. Choice of the kind of use is very important. Internet in general throws on us innocuous data, which opens our learning and understanding curve, but use of that data and its interpretations, should be discussed as part of parenting. Or should we leave the choice to the child? I will share a quick story about what one of my sons went through while he was studying in USA. Once he had an eye problem, where nerve cells in the eye were impacted, but nothing was visible outside to the eye, but he could feel it from within. He checked the internet and wrote his problem and letters, notes, expressions came out from various patients in the world having the same problem and mostly seeking medical help for the same. Whether they had the same problem or different, we did not know, but what we did know was that my son was hugely upset, traumatized and worried, reading those stories coming from people who were at different stages of their lives, having different but related issues. He kept speaking to me. I asked where did he get all these information? He mentioned internet. I told him to pack his bags and take the earliest flight back home. He returned. We treated him in a proper eye hospital with specialists and by God’s grace he is completely fine now. This happened some 15 years back.
So, there are issues with over usage and wrong usage of internet and social platforms to gather information. Parenting in today’s world is tricky. We need to accept that responsibility and deal with the mix of human life experience and technology, with a lot of caution and intelligence.
Good luck to all wannabe and new parents.
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