Posted by: leothegeo | 2014/02/10

The 80’s…

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Nowadays I find it rare to see children being outside, in the great outdoors. I guess they’ve got new “friends”:

XBoxes, PS3s, laptops, tablets/iPads, iPhones, iPods, etc…

Don’t get me wrong. As you’ve previously read, I have endorsed gadgets on this site but I think that development has gone overboard. And the Gods know how even less gadget-dependent we were in the 1970’s, 1960’s, 1950’s, and so on.

Not all gadgets are “bad”. Not all inventions are “bad”.  But just take a look at the majority of today’s children and their socialisation (by the way, this is primarily parents’ responsibility).

The Huffington Post’s Katherine Bindley touched upon this subject:

“But what about children growing up as dependent on gadgets as this next generation seems to be? What happens to the development of those skills if you’ve had a phone to stare at every time you didn’t want to make eye contact while waiting in line? Can kids these days handle spontaneous social interactions?

“They don’t know how to handle conflict face to face because so many things happen through some sort of technology,” said Melissa Ortega, a child psychologist at New York’s Child Mind Institute. “Clinically, I’m seeing it in the office. The high school kids who I do see will be checking their phones constantly. They’ll use it as an avoidance strategy. They’ll see if they got a text message in the two minutes they were talking to me.”

Conversation takes practice, Ortega said, and a dependence on devices can make it that much harder for children who are already struggling socially.

“Another thing I’m noticing is they may have trouble initiating interactions, those small talk situations. They don’t have as much experience doing it because they’re not engaging in it ever. They always have something else going on,” she said.

And despite the rise of digital communication, Ortega said, adolescents will need to converse. “I can’t imagine these kids sitting down in an interview and having a reciprocal conversation easily,” she said. “They haven’t had these years of learning about awkward pauses. Being able to tolerate the discomfort is not something they’re going to be used to, unless their parents make it a priority.””

You can read the rest of the article, here:
When Children Text All Day, What Happens To Their Social Skills? (Huffington Post)

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