As a teacher of History, at times I wonder what students will be learning in the future about us now. Currently we teach History about the Bronze, Iron and Middle Ages. What would our topic be? Would our time be known as the Digital Age and archaeologists digging up and dusting off remnants of a MacBook?
I ask these questions because we are currently growing (I won’t say old) in a time where digital technology is slowly consuming us. I say this because in many ways it is becoming more and more difficult to escape the digital life we are constantly presented with. Digital resources have a place in our society. There are so many benefits to utlising an array of resources we are presented with. Going grocery shopping with two children under the age of five can present its own challenges, so having the ability to do my shopping online as eliminated much distress… And mystery items finding their way into the shopping trolley.
But like many things that appeal to our sensors, and us as people, digital technology can also become addictive. Like any other addiction, some people are more susceptible than others and need to be more disciplined in the use of such technologies. The simple fact is, most adolescents do not have the ability to self-discipline in such a way and require the support of parents and carers to manage digital time.
Like many things in life it’s a balance, a balance that you as a parent or carer should monitor. This is because, in most cases, adolescents don’t build up screen time over night. When you look back and add up the hours, the mission of decreasing this time can become quite challenging. As a parent or carer, you need to know how much time your child is spending using digital technologies and what are they doing during this time. Structured time frames with a central location for devices to be placed after a certain time can be crucial in managing devices.
Ignorance is not always bliss when it comes to social media. A trusting relationship with your children is a necessity when it comes to them opening up to you with any safety concerns that they may have. Self-educate or ask others (even your children) about different sites and apps that they are currently using (more to follow on this in my next article.)
Digital technologies like most other things play an important role in our society. It is up to us to ensure that it doesn’t overstep the mark.
Next article: Unsocial Media