“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. [Steve] Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”(Nytimes article, Sept. 10, 2014)
The above is piece from the interview of Steve Jobs, from the NEW YORK TIMES. It caused a large round internet. Can you guess why? Let us understand this one step at a time:
A) Steve Jobs is co-founder of AppleB) one of the largest and the advanced technological interface.C) Steve Jobs limits the use of technology for his kids
What!?! …Wait..! Are we missing something here? Or are we blindly using the technology disposed to us?
But one thing is sure that the use of technology is not all bad.
The effect of technology on kids is complicated, it has benefits and drawbacks. It depends on what kind of technology is used and how and what is the rate of using the technology. Where ever we go we will find kids playing in their tabs or watching a cartoon. The use of laptops, tablets, mobile phone is excessive. Here I am typing this in a laptop and there you are reading this on your Mobile Phone or your tab. We as adults put to use these manmade advancements to make our working easy. But what about kids? We unintentionally surround them with technology and they use it for their leisure.
Children’s immediate environment determines what kind of attention they develop. In the time of our past generation, much time was spent reading. This activity offered very little distraction and the allowed an intense concentration to sustain attention, imagination and memory. Television and tablets started t o change the attention span of the children. All these advancement offers visual stimuli where very little imagination is required. And with vast ocean of such easily available pieces on the internet, kids are pushed to a very different environment as on this platform distraction is at every-step that makes attention inconsistent and zero use of imagination is used.
So does it means that technology is bad and should be big no no for kids?
No.. it is not like that. The simplest way to understand this is by an example:
Eating is beneficial but over eating is harmful.
There is saying: Ati Sarvatra Varjayet, it means excess of anything is bad.
The exposure to technology is not bad. Research shows that the video games and other visual spatial capabilities do increase the attentional ability and the ability to find detail among the clutter. Now the question that rises is ‘what needs to be done?’
Kids need right monitoring while they are online. They need to be made aware of not visiting websites that indulges in a lot of violence or inappropriate materials. The other way is using parental control and internet filtering tools.
The best way to limit the use is to set a time for using internet and tablets. In such timetable it is generally advised to put an activity first that stimulates their physical energy such as playtime or taking them to the garden or an activity that engages their brain such as reading or storytelling.
The bottom line is that usage of technology is not bad but using it appropriately is important. That is something we adults will understand but with kids, it is up to us to limit their indulgence.