Why I Will Not Let Technology Raise My Children

Why I Will Not Let Technology Raise My Children

posted in: Parent Talk | 14

Sometimes I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. What I mean by this is that the rock is the way I grew up and the hard place is my children’s generation of technology.

 

I am part of the first generation to experience the arrival of hard-core technology. I always new technology existed (I’m not that old) but for the majority of the first half of my life, it wasn’t a big deal. My family didn’t have cell phones until right before I went into high school. Our only computer consisted of an old, used, cream-colored piece of junk that my dad got from a job. It took 5 minutes to connect to the internet and made our only land line busy for the entire time it was being used. I didn’t spend much time on it and my cell phone did one thing…called people (I take that back, it did two things, it also took extremely poor quality pictures).

 

And then 2007 happened and the iPhone was released. This one event launched technology into a whole new realm. We didn’t even know what hit us. We went from having to find ways to occupy ourselves (you know, by interacting with actual people and being outside), to complete idiots who never looked up. Everything we wanted was inside that little handheld device and it took over the world with a vengeance. Looking back to that time in my life I realize it wasn’t even kind of bad compared to what society looks like now. If our great grandparents could see us now they would roll over in their graves.

 

Humans have single handedly creates technology that can do anything imaginable, technology that has pushed the world to extraordinary lengths, while pushing humankind backwards. One of those one step forward, two steps back kind of things except it’s more like one step forward and a lifetime of steps back. Don’t get me wrong, I love my computer and my cell phone and my TV, but I’m also smart enough to realize that it is physically making me, and everyone else I know, digress. Look around you, everyone is fat, self-absorbed and can’t do anything without checking with their Facebook account first. There are no personal interactions and nobody leaves their houses. I’m friends with 400 people I never talk to and who’s lives I seem to think I can judge based on the fact that they posted a picture I could see. Fifteen years ago, Joe Schmo could have been eating his healthy vegan breakfast and it wouldn’t have effected me in the slightest, because I wouldn’t have known. Now for some reason its important that we view everyone’s meal choices for the day before we even get up and feed ourselves.

 

 

It’s pathetic and it makes me cringe every time I think about how dependent I am on technology. It also makes me realize how much I do not want all this technology influencing my children this early in their lives. I’m not stupid or naive, I know that there will come a time in their lives where technology will rule them. It’s inevitable because it is all they will ever know. But until they are old enough to accept that responsibility, I will be intervening. There will be extreme limitations on their use of technology while they are children and I am not doing that to be mean or selfish. I am doing it to preserve their childhood, to show them and give them everything the world has to offer outside of the little boxes everybody relies so heavily on.

 

They are little and I want them to experience the joys of life…real life. We are limiting technology because we want them to:

 

Play in the mud,
Run in the rain,
Jump in puddles,
Climb trees,
Play chase, hopscotch and freeze tag,
Go hiking, fishing, hunting and camping,
Swim in lakes, ponds and streams,
Search for bugs,
Learn to garden,
Play cops and robbers,
Collect acorns,
Read books,
Learn about nature,
Dig in the dirt.

 

 

I want them to live, truly live, during a time in their lives when everything is still magical and amazing. I want them to respect the world around them and realize that it takes a lot of hard work and effort to sustain life and that technology is not the answer for everything. I want them to enjoy what really matters and not live in some virtual realty because it was easier for us to hand them a phone and make them be quiet.

 

We have our moments where everything is hectic and crazy and we just need our rambunctious little toddlers to sit down and quiet down for 5 seconds. Places like doctors offices and the AT&T store or even at home when it’s been a bad day and we need everyone to relax so we don’t explode. During those times we have done what most parents end up doing and we turn on TV or we hand them a cell phone so they can play games and occupy themselves while we handle business. And then the time comes to leave, or turn the TV off and that is the precise moment where I remember, for the millionth time, the real reason we rarely let them play with handheld devices. They lose their fucking minds and have a full-blown meltdown right there in the middle of the store.

 

It’s not worth it to me to let them have these things when they are this young. They don’t understand what they are doing but they do know that they would rather sit on their butts all day playing flappy birds instead of running around outside. That is so unacceptable and a huge problem in my opinion. There will be plenty of time in their futures to obsess over technology. Right now I need them to obsess over animals and plants and people…the type of people who require human interaction.

 

We are raising part of a generation that will grow up and take over where we leave off. I hope and pray that we are instilling within them the foundation that will be needed for them to take on the world that we leave behind.

 

I read this quote the other day and it made me think, if this is true, our children sure will have a lot of work on their hands. I refuse to make that work harder by depriving them of their youth and their love for the world. Technology will always be there, they need to learn to love and respect the natural things around them so they can be the generation that fixes things instead of tearing them apart.

 

Moderation is everything and our society has forgotten that. I have a duty to protect my children from things that I think will affect them negatively. I strongly believe technology will affect them negatively at this point in their lives and because of that we will continue to limit it until we feel they are ready to take on that burden.

My Name 2

14 Responses

  1. I absolutely love this post! Thank you for sharing your heart-felt perspective.

  2. I’m a teacher! And I agree with your reasons 100 percent!!

  3. Amen, sister mama!

  4. We are pretty particular with letting our kids use tech but this week we went to my in laws and out to supper with friends. Both times the kids there were glued to their devices and I was the mean mom trying to get my kids to interact/play instead of handing over my phone! So frustrating.

    • I hate when those moments happen. I have them too. Sometimes I want the kids to quiet down so I hand them my phone and immediately regret it when it comes time to take it away. That’s a big reason why we limit it so much, I hate their behavior when it’s given to them.

  5. Kylie, I loved reading this post. Thank you.

    I have two children(both under 5) and have made up my mind, I won’t be buying them any gadgets. I want them to experience nature and have a precious childhood like I did.

    • I’m so glad you loved it I completely agree with you. Kids need to experience nature and the outdoors when they’re little.

  6. Love your post. I completely agree to what you said. I have a daughter(7) and its a constant reminder to live your life without gadgets…

  7. I agree! We do technology tickets that are worth 30 minutes. She can cash them in whenever but they are earned by doing chores, kind acts, and being creative.

    • I love that idea! I might have to do that when my kids get older. They’re not on electronics a lot right now but I’m sure that will change in the future. Thank you for reading! ❤

  8. This is a huge part of my decision to not have a smartphone. I see parents hand babies their smartphones to play with. They brag about how smart they are unlocking their phone and such. I get much more joy seeing my daughter play in the dirt. We did cave on our no electronics rule when both of us got the noro virus at christmas and popped on some episodes of fraggle rock to keep my toddler calm during the chaos of us alternating trips to the bathroom, but sometimes you need a little help.

    • We all need a little help sometimes we definitely cave with the TV because it gets out boys to sit still for a few minutes but phones and video games aren’t happening for a long time.

  9. I agree that children should be outside playing and gaining real life experiences. Being consumed by the internet isn’t good for children or adults.

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