Technology has provided us all the information ever known to mankind. But we are being told by adults that this is harming us and should therefore be taken away. But they can’t limit its use forever, especially when we live in a world that completely relies on it. Our generation uses technology daily to learn and communicate, so why are adult’s restricting children from using it when they should instead be teaching us how to manage it safely?
Technology isn’t going away anytime soon, and many children use it for educational purposes every day. For example, I use my computer during class to type essays, research questions and even help me understand difficult math formulas. Children also learn important things from sources parents don’t often think of as educational. For instance, Matt Richtel from the New York times states that players of World of Warcraft might be learning leadership and collaboration skills. Or, he said, anecdotal evidence suggests that children who spend a lot of time communicating online might be developing reading and writing skills that are not translating to standardized tests. We can learn anything using the internet, but parents are concerned that technologies reduce the legitimacy of parental influence while increasing influences from unknown and often unwanted sources, states the Institute for Family Studies. Also, 77% of the targets from online predators were age 14 or older. Another 22% were users age 10 to 13, says the Crimes Against Children Research Center. So, parents have a valid reason for urging children to stay away from technology, but this problem can be addressed in a better way.
Our generation has always lived with technology, while the adults generation has not, so why are we being so strictly compared? John Holden of the Irish Times states, to accuse them of being too informal, and suggest they have negative attitudes to work and/or authority, is to apply one generation’s understanding of formality, authority and the workplace environment on to another – a risky venture, given how rapidly ‘norms’ change. The normal nowadays is consumed by technology, and if we can be educated early on in life how to protect ourselves online, we will be able to live successfully and safely.
Instead of restricting technology, parents should be teaching children how to handle it responsibly. Being pushed away from it will only make them want to have it more, and this could lead to them into learning things from dangerous and unreliable sources. “Help the children learn to evaluate sites to make responsible decisions on their own” says Holy Cross Services, because your child can’t be dependent on you forever and will have to learn about our world somehow.