Saturday, 23 January 2010

More to life than iPods and Facebook- Are children caught in the madness?

After reading an article in the Leicester Mercury, I felt the need to add my views to this opinion.

The article was talking about the differences between growing up 10-20 years ago and growing up in this day and age. The main difference in my opinion is all the technological advancements.

As a 24-year-old, I have come across some stark differences between childhood experiences now and those that were characteristic of mine 10-15 years ago.

I grew up going to school and looking forward to lunch and break time so that I could run around with my friends and play tag. Hand games and jumping rope were also some of the highlights. We would literally rush through our lunch or in some cases, not eat it at all, just so we can physically play. Any conversations we stopped to have were generally about visiting each others homes on weekends, an extra-curicular activity we shared after school or something that happened in class.

Today however, things have changed. With the increase in technology, children spend lunch-time texting each other, listening to music on their iPods or playing games on their Nintendo DS.

In addition, recreational activities at home no longer involve playing house with dolls, fixing puzzles or board games like monopoly. Most girls today seem to love Hannah Montana and spend their time trying to be her carbon copy. And this involves playing her dance move games on Nintendo Wii, being part of her ‘learn-to-sing’ sessions on her website or learning to strike her poses on youtube. These are the things that appeal to children today. But has technology for children gone too far? Are children being deprived of important childhood developmental lessons because of this new technology?

Children today have fallen victim to the texting craze as well as instant messaging. Most of them have probably never even written a letter, bought a stamp or know where the post office is.

Facebook friends or enemies?
And of course, there is facebook. Unfortunately, children as young as 8-years-old now have a facebook account. Yes, I said 8-years-old! And this has caused more harm than good.

Back in my day when my mate and I couldn’t get along, we would argue at school or give each other dirty looks, but one of us would eventually apologise and we would be friends again by the end of the week. However, with the use of facebook, upsets and fall-outs between friends grow to mammoth proportions, and subsequently, more and more children end up being bullied on facebook. They get nasty messages on their wall and all of their secrets are exposed. And because of the networking nature of facebook, these upsets last far longer and then no apology could possibly fix it.

Expensive technological gifts for children?

In my opinion, children are no longer given the opportunity to be children. At Christmas, all I wanted was a nice toy/doll. Today Xmas gift requests range from things like an iPod or blackberry to a Nintendo Wii. What would a seven-year-old do with a blackberry?

I personally believe that all of this is too much. I think children are literally missing out on the best part of growing up with the use of all this technology.

If you ask me, children should be taken back to being children again, and reminded that they have plenty of time to grow up!

1 comment:

  1. I don't think it is fair to say that all children, at all times choose computer games or other technologies over traditional forms of play. I read recently that Facebook was being blamed for an increase in rickets due to the fact that children may be spending too much time inside. The increase of the lack of vitamin D in children could be explained by many other things such as poor diet.

    I also think we need to look at over protective parents that feel more comfortable having their children inside after school etc. Things change, and just because the state of child play is not the same as it was when we were young does not mean that it is necessarily bad. Its just different.