Ruby Vaden

News Reporter and Columnist


Modern Culture: Ruining the children of our future?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How many of us can say that we have allowed technology to “entertain” our children at some point during the day? Playing “Call of Duty” on their PlayStation or “Roblox” on their tablet or even an occasional “YouTube” video here or there seems to be the norm. There is nothing wrong with that though, right? It HAS to be perfectly okay to allow our children to be influenced by social media and all that it entails, right? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Growing up in today’s era, it has become more convenient to allow our children to have access to such tools. Yes, technology has evolved over the past quarter-century as it will continue to do so but I think that it is very necessary for us parents not to let our children’s lives evolve solely around technology.

You hear it from parents, teachers and adult neighbors, family members and friends. In a speech that might begin with something along the lines of, “When I was your age …”, the grown-up describes how life, or at least his or her memory and perception of it, used to be.

I can vividly recall barely having cable let alone Wi-Fi or a tablet or PlayStation to play with when I was growing up. If any of you grew up the way that I did, we played OUTSIDE all day long. There were times when my mom used to lock us outside and told us to go “play”. Now granted, my mom would probably be locked up in today’s age because of all of the new “child laws” that are in affect, but that is just how we rolled back in the day.

From as far back as my memory can recollect, I remember playing outside about six days out of the week because we spent all of Sunday in church. Who remembers playing hide and seek? Racing the kids from the neighborhood? Playing in the neighborhood creek or ditch? Drinking water from the water hose? I DO! Have I taken you all back far enough? I hope so.

I said all of that to say this; parents please stop enabling technology to ruin the precious minds of our children. Teach them that it is okay to do things that are not technologically based because in spite of staying outside to play six days a week, I think that I turned out okay.

There is no way to get around the fact that technology is here to stay and although there are negative effects, there are just as many positive effects of technology; after all, it is the platform for education. Everyday, educators use technology to educate children across the world. Technology is a very essential tool in today’s society that we cannot make it without. Have you ever had your computer crash while you were writing an important essay and remained perfectly calm? Yeah, me neither.

Needless to say that I have “lost it” in several instances where technology had seemed to fail me because it is equivalent to oxygen for most of us. Even though it introduces us to a faster paced life and way of living, issues still exist regarding how much our kids are exposed to it.

Childhood obesity mounts as junk food sources bombard children with advertisings on Facebook or any other social media affiliate, even at school. I’ve witnessed with my own eyes the affects that children experience by spending more hours engaging with various electronic media — TV, games, videos and other online entertainments — than they spend in school.

I have most definitely noticed how much of what children are exposed to involves violence, sexual imagery, and yet children’s media, for the most part, remains largely unregulated. Although access to technology should be necessary, I feel that it is our job as parents to assure that our children are not being influenced in the wrong way. Sometimes, this means creating guidelines and restrictions for to abide by. Permitted, that we cannot be everywhere all of the time but I feel that it is necessary to be proactive and excessively NOSY in regards to how much our children see.

I may be stepping out on a limb by saying that technology should be used more for the purpose of educating rather than entertaining but that is my own personal opinion. I personally feel that it is okay to tell our kids to go outside to play or become more involved with outdoor activities such a softball, soccer or basketball. After all, these activities are beneficial for their health on so many levels.

We as parents, are responsible for the future of our children and if we are not hands-on regarding matters that arise from day to day, how else will we know what is going on with our children? Stop allowing technology to parent and raise our children because these minds are the “future” of our America and what we presently feed into their minds is what they will eventually regurgitate in the future.