A few weeks ago I was very lucky to have spent some time with my extended family. My cousin has three younger kids and I couldn’t help but compare my child-hood with theirs. I know we have all heard the silly joke where a younger person is talking to a grandparent or elder and the grandparent tends to go on a tangent starting with “Well back in my day….” Now, I didn’t have one of those moments, but I truly was baffled with the idea that the technologies these kids are using are something I never knew as a child.
My cousin’s kids wake up early, and naturally so do I. I walked downstairs to find the kids and their dad (my cousin’s husband) all on the couch. The oldest (5 years old) was playing on an Ipad, the middle (4 years old) had a Nintendo DS, and the youngest (2 years old) had and Ipod Touch. They were all playing their games quiet as can be. I almost took a picture because I found the image to be so funny. In “Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, and Society – 12/13” it says, “A new medium does not add something; it changes everything.” How these kids maneuver through situations and problem solve will be so radically different then any way someone born before the year 2000 ever will.
Not surprisingly, my cousin is pregnant with their fourth child. Jokingly, I made the comment “You’ll have to get another Ipad to entertain 4!”…But it is so true. Children these days will never know a world with no Ipads, Twitter, or Facebook. Instead of searching for old friends online they will just “be” friends with them and then have the choice to de-friend them later. I think this is a great advantage they have. Of course most are too young to understand that technology is good, in fact it’s great! After seeing some of the games they play, I think having these things impacts them in a positive way.
For me it is hard to think of technology better than what we have now (of course I say that but when they invent all this crazy stuff I’m sure someone will be saying the exact same thing then). I think it is important as parents to teach children how to use technology in a constructive way and for them to take advantage of the “new medium” that is likely to change everything.