With the increase of technology, we have seen probably some of the most progress in our society’s history than we’ve seen since the Industrial Revolution.
We see jokes on Facebook about hiding your kids phone charge and then you will get their attention, but this situation of values and how they have changed in our young people is not a laughing matter. And it seems to be trickling up to the rest of us.
Young people and even older people are actually preferring to interact online as opposed to seeing friends in person. Let this soak in for just a minute. In essence, this means, your son or daughter would prefer the interaction with another person via a device over human contact.
Statistics are showing that more sixteen and seventeen-year old youth are putting off getting their driver’s licenses until they are eighteen or older. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wait until my 16th birthday so I could get my official driver’s license. The reason being, they really don’t need to go anywhere in the real world because as long as they have their laptop or their I-phone, they are good to go in the virtual world. And often the real-life friends join them there.
Are teens and many adults tuning out to the point that the dynamic of our society in America is actually changing the way we relate to each other? Do human beings need real life interaction? Well the crime statistics in our real world indicate that we do. Students and adults should be interacting with each other on a daily basis. But how do we do this?
• Parents need to set the example. Stay off your phone during meals together and when you are supposed to be with your kids. Put the phone down and leave it down. If you as a family have to set a “no phone time” then do it and stick with it. But parents have to be the example. Your kids are watching no matter how old they are.
• Insist the phone stay out of the teen’s bedroom. That’s a tough one, but you are the parent, and this is for their own good. Be the parent.
• Teens need a safe space. When there was bullying at school, kids could come home and get relief. Now this bullying follows them home and they cannot get away from it. All the more reason to limit the time online.
• Monitor the online games where your kids compete with other people and meet other people. This is when things get tricky. Kids begin to attach to online friends and detach to real life friends. If this begins. Have some real-life people over for dinner and games or something. You need to help your kids make connections again.
This online situation does not happen overnight. When children are young, good habits of spending time with family and friends needs to happen without the devices being used all the time. Our values of putting technology before others have taken us away from letting kids play outside. Instead, many children sit in front screens several hours every day.
Not only are kids detached from human interaction, we also have an obesity problem with children in our country as well. Nearly 32% of children and adolescents are either overweight or obese in the United States, which is three times the prevalence from just one generation ago.
One suggestion would be if you live away from family, make some connections with friends who have kids and start interacting and moving. Don’t just set up play dates. Get together with other couples and cook, eat and have fun together. Let your kids see fun, food and games without the computers going on the time.
You may have teenagers in the thick of it. Be patient. Suggest some fun things to do away from those phones. Keep trying. Camping, swimming, hiking, biking, and other things will get you and your kids away from technology and give you all some much-needed togetherness. It’s never too late to start building family memories and to get back to some good old-fashioned human interaction values.
About the Author:
Peggy DeSeure is a writer who loves learning and sharing this love with others.