I would like to share a story and some thoughts with you today about something that really concerns me these days. I guess it really hit me one day as I was out for a drive and was passing a daycare center. Out in front were a couple of signs, one was boasting about having a computer in every room and the other about how THEIR preschoolers can read!. My gut reaction as I said out loud was “So what!” Why not have signs that indicate socialization skills are taught here or we encourage creativity! Seriously, if computers and reading are there claim to fame then I say stay away from that place. I will stand firm when I say that technology and academics should not be the main focus of a program. I truly fear that we are becoming a society with deteriorating social skills, only engaging with one another on social networks and constantly fiddling with our i pads and phones instead of taking the time to socialize face to face. Now please don’t get me wrong, technology certainly has it’s place , you wouldn’t be reading this right now if computers weren’t available. And yes I do my share of texting and talking on cell phones. But I also know when to shut it all off and engage with those around me!
Recently, I was at a child’s birthday party and was disturbed by the sight of three siblings under the age of eight, sitting on the couch, two with i pads and one with an i phone. I actually found myself saying out loud “now that is kind of scary!” I mean there we were at a child’s party, and these kids were not playing and running around. I went over to chat with the kids and happily found they could hold a conversation and had great manners. The parents said they have limited use of the devices too and shortly after took off for the back yard. Whew! Unfortunately, another boy who must have been around 12 yrs old, sat and played with his phone for I kid you not, at least 3 hours! Other people at this party were also noticing that he never moved from that spot. And the thing was, I couldn’t tell who his parents were. Now THAT is sad. I just worry for these children and the future of this world. What happens when they just tune into their own world and don’t know how to reach out to others ? Don’t you all think that is something to worry about?
On the other hand, I have the pleasure of babysitting a five year old boy (it’s usually once a week for an hour and a half) and he loves to sit and converse with me and invite me into his play. When not doing that, he can busy himself creating some great artwork or use his imagination in dramatic play. It’s just awesome to watch. When I told his mom how impressed I was with his social skills and ability to create, her response was “well that’s what happens when you don’t have cable, you find other things to do!” Bravo Mom! :>)