Are smartphones a smart idea?

Too much modern technology not the best thing for our children

Dear editor,

How much time does your child spend on the computer or on their cellphone?

The ever-growing phenomenon of digital and electronic communication has its benefits and uses, but there is a growing concern amongst parents about its negative and harmful aspects, especially as it pertains to our children.

We see it around us every day: noses buried deep in iPods or smart phones; rampant text messaging and image sharing.

People of all ages are walking around looking like they are talking to their invisible childhood friend until you notice their earphones — it used to be only the FBI had technology like that.

Now you can see 10-year-olds with $500 devices that do everything but make popcorn. Kids are shunning social interactions and holing up in their electronics-laden rooms.

It has become a global epidemic, and as with all epidemics, their must be an intervention or the damage might be devastating.

Don’t get me wrong — I love my laptop and think the latest gadgets are truly amazing and have their place, but the way technology has tsunamied into our lives has caught us off-guard and we need to pay attention to the dangers.

Kids have replaced socializing with texting; reading with watching and thinking with memorizing. Mental and physical health issues that have heretofore been nonexistent, are climbing at an alarming rate.

A concerned friend recently sent me the following article from The Telegraph, (June 24, 2013) calledSurge in Digital Dementia,’ that begs reading from every parent whose child owns an electronic device or spends time on the computer.

It begins:

Doctors in South Korea are reporting a surge in ‘digital dementia’ among young people who have become so reliant on electronic devices that they can no longer remember everyday details like their phone numbers.”

I urge every involved parent, caregiver and educator to read this article and seriously consider the fate of our children with this new threat (that is actually not that new, but only newly researched).

And indeed, it is a real threat. But controlled, regulated and used in an intelligent, safe manner, the Internet and the devices we use to access it in all its wonder, can be be a miracle, and not the heart of our ruin.

Denise Sevier-Fries

Comox Valley

 

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