I’ve recently read a number of blog posts referencing a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which suggests that cell phones benefit families by allowing them to stay more regularly in touch even when they are not physically together. But I just don’t know…
Isn’t this just another case of today’s parents falling into that "My kids should have it better than I did" snare? I’ve mentioned before that I think our society is carelessly immersing our children in needless technology. Sure, I want my child to have every advantage possible, but the thing is, I’ve yet to see anything that convinces me that more technology equals better learning or a better life for kids. In fact, the hyperactive and tech-laden lifestyle that’s prevalent these days could actually be breaking down the family unit and hindering the quality of our childrens’ lives.
I tend to believe that cell phones actually rob children of their independence & rationale. Kids today are no longer prompted to think about or mentally map out what they’ll be doing for the remainder of the day as they head out the door. Instead, they wander aimlessly off into the day, knowing that they’re never more than a button-press away from Mom or Dad who’ll swoop in and rescue them at the last minute. Rather than having to figure out problems on their own — and in the process become self-sufficient — kids simply "text" Mom and get an immediate answer. Cell phones are stripping away any need for children to reason through and try to resolve their own situations.
Prior generations of children grew up healthy & happy without all of this instantaneous communication, yet everyone now seems to feel that they "need" constant connectivity just to survive. What’s your take on this? Do you (or will you) provide your child a cell phone? Do you worry that this is just another symptom of helicopter parenting?
* Text-Message Translation: Too much information, no thinking necessary