Fatherhood in a Technological World – Message #12
To Cell or not to Cell? That is the question.
For some reason, “Cell phones for kids” makes me think of the the Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing.”
Blogger Note: I shoot my videos first and then write up this blog article right before I publish it and I often write some thoughts not mentioned in the video.
Whatever poetic verse this subject makes me think of, the decision to let kids possess cell phones, especially smart phones, is surely going to be controversial as I know plenty of youth are running around with these devices as part of their style package.
Remember how they said that smoking cigarettes stunts your growth? It would fly in the face of the all powerful marketing to suggest that a smart phone when used improperly (which is almost all the time) will stunt your growth.
Considering how difficult it is for many adults to tame their use of handheld devices, what would cause a parent think that a teenager or child would have nothing less than a boat load of temptation to multitask their way into oblivion when they ought to be focusing on things like English composition, Algebra, “I am Joe’s Kidney” and stop signs?
There is plenty of scientific evidence that indicates that multi-tasking is responsible for:
- Lower creativity
- Poorer management skills
- Lower emotional intelligence
The last time I checked, those are not the kind of qualifications you want to put on your resume.
Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that smart phones, texting and having a phone permanently mounted to your child’s ear, ala Princess Leia, is the only source of being plagued by a lack of focus, but considering that 90% (just a WAG… okay 99%) of the information that is commonly viewed on the internet that is about as important as a barnacle on a whale’s backside becomes the fluff that the drifting mind seeks to absorb in its pre-alcoholic addiction to junk… well that’s just not what you would want your child to have to deal with when they’re learning to be a responsible adult.
Ever see kids ride their bikes while looking at their smart phones? I finally figured out that it’s evolution. For generations, kids have been practicing riding their bikes without hands, and now I know why. It’s just a shame that frontal cortex doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25 and that marketers find that fertile ground to inject the latest sparkly doo-dads for next trainload of guinea pigs.
It may not be easy for you as a parent to stem the tied of peer pressure, but you’ll need to keep up the conversation, the education, and perhaps provide a healthier outlet to take the place of the little marketing boxes vying for the attention of your children.
What is acceptable?
By high school, there may be need for your child to have a cell phone in order to communicate with you or in an emergency, but, unless future educational space known as school somehow becomes automated by some bizarre invasion of technology, there is no practical reason for even a high school student to possess a smart phone. That’s just my opinion.
Enough for now.
About Fatherhood in a Technological World
Fathers of young children in today’s modern society are facing unprecedented challenges with the wave of technology allowing ever easier access to the internet. The effect on your children has and will have a great influence on their growth. As a parent, you may be feeling the anxiety of having to confront the challenges of being at the end of the rail of the powerful forces driving technology into the laps and hands of your children.
Your work is cut out for you are a father. Even though popular culture doesn’t do well to herald the value of the leadership role of men in the form of fathers, let me tell you right now, being a father in this time and age has never been more important.
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