Video Showing Effect Technology Has On Our Children Will Horrify You

technology children talking aboutThree generations of different families were asked questions about what they did for fun as a kid. The older generations talked of going fishing, growing fruit, going to the baseball field, building forts, and playing outside with the neighborhood kids. All in person, outdoor play. In nature. But the answers from the kids of today centered about texts and video games. One child even said she would die without her tablet. This video capturing the effect technology has on our children will make you rethink how much screen time you allow your child to have.

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Technology, while amazing and needed, has also created a barrier essentially blocking our kids from looking up. They bury themselves in the screen, the outside world just a blur. 

It hurt to hear that one child say that he wouldn't feel normal without his videos and video games. For many kids, this has become the norm. It is up to us, as parents, to do something about it. We cannot become a nation of people only communicating through screens. We need to feel the air, not just see trees on a tablet. Our children should never feel that they would "die" without their tablet. Or that they need video games to feel normal.

My children -- twins -- are 5 years old. I do not allow them to use my computer, tablet, or iPhone. We watch some TV, but I limit it as much as possible. They do get screen time at their grandparents' house -- especially my daughter, who loves to play games on Mema's iPad. When we were having dinner over there the other day, it didn't feel right that my daughter was sitting inside on a gorgeous July evening playing something that made dings and bells while my son and I were on the porch having a dance party. Thankfully when I asked them what they like to do for fun, they responded, ride bikes, go the the fair, have sleepovers, go to the park, swimming, and making lanyards.

But I also realize that they are 5. As they get older, they will want to do more with technology. It's a reality all of us as parents have to face.

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While I know this is a Canadian ad for Nature Valley, it is one of those commercials that hits all the right notes. Seeing the reactions of the parents and grandparents made me tense -- I felt their pain, their concern that their child has relied on technology too much, as a replacement for going outside to play. The desire to be outdoors and in nature is innate in all children but it does need to be nurtured. Technology can negatively impact our children's social interactions, and that free play that is so needed. Kids need to be outside, exploring, letting their minds expand. We need it as adults, too. Our contact with nature is imperative -- it lifts our mood, grows the mind, and keeps our bodies healthy.

We face a somewhat new issue as parents. Our children were born into a world with cell phones, Facebook, and Instagram, and who know what other social media will follow. But we have to hold on to what's outside our doors, and not just what's on our screens.

 

Image via Nature Valley Canada / YouTube

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