This is a hotly debated topic for many parents and grandparents today, high up there on the list of angst-ridden decisions. In my life it’s particularly relevant as my children attend a school where we are asked to “support their education by recognising the adverse developmental impact inherent in exposing children to the range of electronic media and cellular communication technologies”.
At first I had no issues with this, I have read and heard much about the detrimental effects of technology on a child’s growing brain, and don’t dispute there’s a definite impact. However, having undertaken my own inner journey these last few years, I wanted to get more clarity on this issue from a broader perspective.
In a world where we are all connected, the internet being the closest – yet clunky – physical model of the energetic clay we are all molded from, I wanted to explore where this fits. Having written a lot about the nature of life as I am discovering it, from the inside out, this topic is just like any other.
As always, take whatever resonates for you.
Technology as a Tool
Yes, I recognise the impact on young minds. Feel free to Google the wealth of information out there and come to your own conclusions on this. The perspective I have to add is that nothing is all bad. In fact, who is to say that any rewiring of the brain that deviates from what we previously considered normal isn’t a necessary step towards the future of the human race?
Sure, I am glad my children attend a school where there are no devices used in the classroom until their teenage years, in school they are more focused on the natural world, providing a contrast. They live in a world surrounded by a majority – me included – who walk around with all-singing all-dancing devices in hand. Children don’t want held apart from these devices that suck up so much attention of the people around them; especially when they realise the value in them for switching off from all the judgment and restrictions around them, and lifting their own mood (see below).
If you put restrictions on devices (or anything) kids get sneaky because they want what they want; just as we all do. Each one of us is born with this primal tool, to discern what we like and don’t like, our own unique relationship with the source within encouraging us along the path of our own highest intentions and desires.
My own conclusion on the effects of technology on developing brains is simply that everything has its place and nothing is here without us – on some level – having desired it. That doesn’t mean I’d be happy for my kids to sit for endless hours watching TV or playing online games. If that was what they wanted to do I’d be taking a close look at the reasons why they felt the need for such high levels of escapism.
We live in a world of contrast, the content available through devices simply reflects that. Sure, you can pay attention to the content that drives you to the depths of despair or to that which will fuel anger or hatred, you can even scare yourself half to death, or you can seek out content that will make you laugh, help you learn and grow, fill you with gratitude and joy and inspire you to greatness.
I was given a poem called “a stranger in our home” by a teacher a while back. A stranger who swore and smoked and did everything that was not otherwise allowed or encouraged in the home, yet it flickered on night after night, year after year. There is no denying the messages that you send when children are exposed to so much. But in these days of ‘on demand’ there is no excuse for exposing them to such variety of contrast through technology. Life will come in to meet them all too soon and do that anyway.
What really stands out for me when it comes to our kids though is the ability of the content to lift the mood. For tired, strung out children, I know a small dose of Peppa Pig soon has mine laughing. Also, the television doesn’t judge. Children know their own value and power better than we do and they are in disbelief when people they love so much constantly stand in their way, its classic escapism.
Humans are so unpredictable, technology is so predicable, which is why young minds are attracted to it.
This is a harder issue for many. When my partner and I took our family on a break recently, there was a moment down by the quayside in Wellington that we looked at the dozens of people sitting along there; side by side, every one literally absorbed in a device.
I know the value of face to face communication and I have abhorred those sitting in a restaurant together yet completely detached, consumed in their own devices, with the best of you. But let’s not get all Footloose or Dirty Dancing here, these are different times.
Specifically, these are different vibrational times, children today are translating the energy around them at a faster rate than ever, and their ability to discern in the bombardment for their attention is greater than ever – certainly much greater than ours.
We were born into different generations, it’s an old story, previous generations have been slowing down the new for a long time, introducing resistance to ‘what is’. I can feel the momentum of the evolution of our species, consciousness becoming aware of itself. I don’t fully understand the part this transition to a new mode of communication plays in that bigger picture, but it certainly creates more connection.
Overall, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not my job to dictate to our children. It’s my job to love them, to help them discern their own alignment with their inner knowing by demonstrating mine - and to get the heck out of their way. So when it comes to technology, I’m really quite excited to see how the picture will evolve as these next generations use it to greater effect in a world becoming ever more conscious of itself.
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