The changing face of childhood
One of the main concerns that people have with the speed in which we are making technological advancements is the issue of what being a child and growing up during this time will look like.
The common concern is that children will not enjoy the more simple attributes of life as they are surrounded by so much technology. How will these changes affect how they communicate, their health and what they expect from their parents?
One of the first things that comes up when discussing this issue is the idea that tech makes children lazy. When the Wii came out in 2006 one of the first games created was Wii sports, children had the ability to pretend to play certain sports such as golf and tennis without even needing to leave their homes.This brought up the concern of children not getting regular exercise and some were concerned this may lead to health issues and obesity. However many parents didn’t realise how much energy children had to put into actually playing these games, they still had to swing their arms to play the games like they were playing the actual game. Having these pieces of tech also doesn’t mean that children won’t want to play outside anymore it just means they have more options of how to use their free time.
One of the covert concerns that many parents have for these things without their realisation is the ever growing cost of parenting as technology advances. As we further ourselves in these areas children have a higher expectation of what their parents should be providing for them and parents tend to spend more money than their parents needed to spend on them. The sociological idea of relative poverty suggests that although children may have the basic necessities to survive and then some and are not in poverty they may feel that way in comparison to their peers. These advancements put a pressure on parents financially and this pressure is arguably only going to increase further generationally.
When I asked my sister what she thought as a parent about the effects of technological advancement on childhood she said it was as an intrinsic part of childhood today in comparison to it being a non-existent thing in our parent’s childhoods and only a developing thing as we grew up. She explained it not only affects her daughter’s education, as she uses it for things such as school research especially now that so many local libraries have been closed down but how it also affects parents e.g. she pays and signs up for things for her online as opposed to the traditional physical hand in.
We both had the same viewpoint that the changes in how children grow up today as a result of technological advancement are neither negative nor positive it just is. She argued that tech has opened certain avenues of concern in regards to things such as cyber bullying but as oppose to parents trying to stop their kids from using tech or only using what they as parents are accustomed to, it is important for parents to continue to educate themselves so they protect their children from the issues that arise but also reap all the benefits that it has caused.