Welcome to our 28th edition of the weekly open thread.
Boston writes in:
I’ve been a follower of KL for a while now and enjoy you sharing everything. You seem to end up discussing topics that I am interested in hearing about. I have a question about children and technology. I think it’s important to an extent for children to be introduced to technology because of the large part of life and business now. But do you think that it limits their imagination and their attention span because it’s so easy for them to fulfill that quick need of satisfaction. I’m mainly talking about tablets and smart phones. Hope to hear your thoughts. Go sox!
I celebrate the mastery of technology by my young men. We have two choices regarding how we view their budding relationship with their equipment:
1) “They don’t even know how to communicate because their faces are perpetually buried in their devices.”
2) “This is tremendous. We have constantly evolving languages with which to communicate. Our kids speak these languages better than we do”
It’s all about the way we spin it. The theory of survival of the fittest suggests that each generation should theoretically emerge bigger, faster and stronger. It also makes sense from an evolutionary perspective that our offspring should be incrementally more intelligent than us. From the American Psychological Association:
Over the past 100 years, Americans’ mean IQ has been on a slow but steady climb. Between 1900 and 2012, it rose nearly 30 points, which means that the average person of 2012 had a higher IQ than 95 percent of the population had in 1900.
Political scientist James Flynn, PhD, of the University of Otago in New Zealand, first discovered those astonishing IQ gains nearly 30 years ago. Since then, the steady rise in IQ scores in the United States and throughout the developed world has been dubbed the “Flynn effect.”
With every new advancement, from writing to radio to texting, people have decried the loss of connection and skill. We fight progress at every turn when we should be celebrating. We fear change and love the comfort of life being managed and navigated the way we do or did it instead of loving the spectacular adjustments and adaptations our kids have made.
Technology is inherently built to make our lives more efficient and, in many cases, more effective. We can also learn faster.
My older son, Chase, is a resourceful 15 year old. He learns what he needs utilizing technology. His tutors come in the form of youtube. That means he doesn’t need to get in a car and drive to see a human. You could make a case that he will subsequently spend more time interacting with a friend via text by choice, thereby developing a deeper relationship. There are more cases to be made that technology is a life enhancer for their generation than the inverse.
We can have faith that our kids are not dumb. We need not be fearful of their connections with the digital world. We can stop our jealousy and glorify their evolution. Better yet, let’s dive in, try to keep up and share in their experience. We’ll likely learn something.
Opening up the floor for your questions and thoughts.