Everywhere you look, the war on new technology rages on between old and new generations. Every new gadget seems to have its reasonable function – but is also grossly cushioned with excessive, time-wasting tools. And the balance of emotional outbursts with healthy conversations is not looking promising.
Many parents, like those of those of this 16-year old in Kansas, are at wit’s end with the behavioral differences between them and their children. Kids are ready to spend their time doing anything digital, while parents watch in horror as they spend an increasing percentage of their lives with their faces glued to various screens.
This girl’s parents resorted to forcing her away from her technology, despite the pleas and anguish that so many parents have come to expect. After many nights of fighting and emotional struggles, their daughter finally told them what was keeping her so closely attached to her phone – and what she said left them completely astounded.
But what made them push through the technology wall in the first place?
They realized that what seems to be getting in the way of healthy conversations are the very different experiences with new technology, and feelings of resentment that surface from not understanding these different experiences. Parents struggle to comprehend the totally immersing effect that modern technology is being developed to have on us because they often use less of it. Kids don’t recognize just how strange their immersion looks to their more detached elders since most of their peers around them are glued to their phones as well.
The nature of such technology is that it occupies many areas of the brain at the same time, making it difficult to interrupt. Most kids aren’t aware of this, and at the same time, most parents quickly lose their patience with it.
But these Kansas parents decided to force her into sharing their everyday experience away from technology, hoping it would help them reach each other.
It worked – and then their teenager told them that she’d been helping a friend through depression and thoughts of self-harm that she was having nightly.
That’s when they realized just how much the disconnect from reality is being driven by addictive technology – how hard it is for children to see beyond it to other aspects of life that are essential to them, such as proper treatment for depression, which they were quick to help the friend in need find.
Talk to your children openly, with the will to understand the unknowns that may be affecting them. You never know who else you might help in the process.