Most of us are aware of the positive impact that technology has on our lives. The benefits of technology affect so many areas of our life and the lives of our children, it is easy to be unaware of how dependent we have become. Manufacturing uses technology to automate processes to improve efficiency, productivity, and lower costs simultaneously. Technology is used in communications from email, fax, web meetings, texting, and more. In fact texting has become the primary source of communication for much of our nations youth, surpassing even verbal communication. It has changed education from chalkboard to iPad, library to nook, classroom to virtual classroom. It has infiltrated almost all areas of our lives.
In light of technology’s obvious benefits and green disposition, we must be aware of effects it is having on the developing minds of our children. Gone are the days when kids actually talked to their friends face to face or in the phone, hung out with buddies in the neighborhood after school, played hockey in the street, flew a kite, cycled, skateboarded, built a fort, hung out in a tree, etc. Now we see all of that traded in for texting, online gaming, supervised scheduled play dates (where kids play video games together or on their own side by side-craziness.)
The drawback to this lack of face to face interaction may result in young individuals that are unable to pick up on subtle emotional nuances and read social cues like body language or facial expressions. Inability to pay attention for a sustained period is another immediate concern surrounding increased technological use. In addition to the psychological impact, we must also consider the physical impact it is having. We are exchanging outdoor free play for a sedentary lifestyle.