When you think about yourself while growing up, what are the things you have remembered? Hiking with your father? Playing soccer with your friends on some warm afternoon? Helping your granny to bake a cake? Yes, I can relate. I am a pedagogue, and I work with children every day. I see them growing up and I get to know them within days, months and years. I see children in kindergarten playing with their smartphones not knowing what to do. Or do they know? It was an early morning and I came to my job regularly.
I saw a kid which was 5-year-old playing some games. His father was still there and he told him to pay for some extra coins once he becomes bored. Bored? I made a whole plan for those children that day. I do it for every day, of course. You know, I try to teach children values about life. That day, I prepared some lesson about the Universe. What could be more exciting than that, right? I started talking about planets and how our home looks like. I made a great presentation but almost no one listened. Kids were playing their games, and most of them, if I may admit was in some way a little bit violent.
Zombies, blood, guns. I was terrified. That was my first month while working in a kindergarten. You can imagine how I felt. I imagined a great place where I will teach kids about great lessons in life. My first month at work has passed, I recommended to a director that all kids should be forbidden to take their phones. You know, in the first place, there are many children which are not rich and of course that they do not have a smartphone when they are 5-years-old. But, he was so surprised and told me that they are the Y generation, and we are the X. We are old, we have to think how to get some answers. They just need to know where to find those. I thought about that all day. Couldn’t even sleep.
I am still thinking about that. What smartphones have brought us is that our generations do not think creatively anymore. They just want fast answers, fast fun, everything fast! Their reactions are great and fast, that is the truth. But what about their brain? Ideas? Creativity and logical thinking can be now long forgotten with new and fast technology which offers so many distractive pictures, gifs, games… How does that impact your child? Do you control to which pages your child have the access? Sometimes, I get ashamed. I take a look at those kids thinking how someone didn’t react earlier. Parents which are busy all the time say that their children enjoy playing with their smartphones. But, what I actually think about this is that it is easier for them to let those kids play some ”zombie games” while they have time for themselves.
Our generations are not creative anymore. Have you heard about someone who invented something in these days? No, I haven’t too. Why is that so? Because people are so distracted with so many information and flashes which are making them blind. The less you think, the better? Is that what is this all about? I was watching those kids, trying to make a decision who is ready for school. It was a hard task, really. No one was ready. No one had some critical thinking about anything. They enjoyed what is served on that plate. Hanging around with other children? Not at all. They may sit close together but if you take a look no one is talking. Everybody is looking at their smartphones. But, it is not just children who are looking at their smartphones all day long. Take a look around while you are going for a walk.
Everyone walks with a smartphone! Barely someone will look at you in the eyes. We became walking zombies which are obsessed with technology. Adults, wake up! It is a sad fact that people feel somehow lost without their phones, they feel like a huge part of them is missing. Can you imagine how serious this addiction really is? As I have said, everyone feels a pressure to use a smartphone all day long, and what do we get from it? A higher divorce rate, of course. The car accidents. Do you ever text and drive? Well, think again. What can you do if you have recognized yourself in these statements? First of all, it is a good sign if you have recognized the addiction.
You can try to spend more face to face time with your friends. You will realize how lost you will feel in the first days without your phone. But, don’t worry. It gets better. Your family and kids? Talk to your children face to face. Put away all the technology while you are eating. Be sure that your whole family eats together. Always keep in your mind how your smartphone can ruin your social life, and as I have said, your marriage too. Take up a new hobby! Soccer maybe? Tennis? Anything you like, it doesn’t need to be expensive. Get a pet, and learn again how to spend more time in nature and how to feel free. Visit your parents or grandparents more often, don’t call them on their phone. Trust me, it will make a huge difference. I am truly worried about children nowadays, but about the adults too.
You, parents, don’t get me wrong but be aware how smartphones are affecting you and your kids. Yes, I am a mother, and yes, it is easier for me to give my smartphone to my boy and have some ”me time”. But, what about his future?
What will his personality look like? Empathy? Forgotten? Always keep in mind how it affects your whole social life.