Don’t blame it all on screen time

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - with greg whitby

THE To­day show’s Lisa Wilkin­son caused a stir among par­ents re­cently telling them that they were “crazy” to let kids un­der five have ac­cess to iPads and phones.

She said it would cre­ate a gen­er­a­tion of 14-yearolds ad­dicted to screens with no so­cial skills. In a re­cent col­umn in

The Daily Tele­graph Louise Roberts also said par­ents were to blame for “the cor­ro­sive sex­ting epi­demic en­gulf­ing our kids” be­cause they were re­spon­si­ble for “hand­ing them the mo­bile weapons to self-destruct”.

It might be easy to blame par­ents or even tech­nol­ogy for the in­ap­pro­pri­ate use or abuse of mo­bile de­vices and so­cial me­dia. But it is sim­ply wrong! Think back a decade or so, Google and Face­book were just start­ing out and kids spent their time watch­ing TV and play­ing the early Nin­tendo DS.

The crit­ics of the time were mak­ing claims that too much TV or gam­ing time would make our kids vi­o­lent and cre­ate a bunch of psy­cho­log­i­cally mal­ad­justed men. Largely, this did not hap­pen.

To­day’s crit­ics claim so­cial me­dia and screen time will lead to a col­lapse of moral­ity and hu­man so­cial de­vel­op­ment.

Yes, the tech­nol­ogy be­ing re­leased to­day is faster and more so­phis­ti­cated than any­thing we have ever known.

Tech­nol­ogy is here to stay and we need to come to terms with how to best man­age it.

Rather than play the blame game or ban the tech­nol­ogy, we need to work out how we best re­spond at the in­di­vid­ual, fam­ily and so­ci­etal level to the use of tech­nol­ogy and so­cial me­dia.

When used ap­pro­pri­ately, tech­nol­ogy opens kids up to a world of learn­ing and con­nec­tions never be­fore pos­si­ble.

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