Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Today I'm thinking about technology and the affect it is having on our kids. Don't get me wrong, I think technology is a great thing; cell phones keep us safe in an emergency, computers and email allow us to work more efficiently, GPS systems help us out when we're lost, etc. I just can't help but feel that some of these technological advances are also dumbing down our children.

My husband is a high school teacher, and when he grades a student's hand-written exam, he sees so many spelling and grammatical errors. We think it's because of two reasons; first - these students have automatic spellcheck on their computer so they don't really know how to spell, and second - they are so used to using text-slang ("ur", "lol", "ttyl") that they don't know how to communicate properly.

Students nowadays also don't have to be able to do math in their heads, because they can use calculators on tests, and cash registers tell them exactly how much change to give back. My parents owned a family business, and I learned to count back change when I was about 12 years old. Now, when I try to give an 18-year-old cashier $20.61 for a $7.61 charge, and they get completely confused. It's ridiculous.

Even my own kids don't understand the concept of regular tv. They think they can watch whatever show they want at whatever time they want because we have TiVo. They will also grow up using GPS navigational systems to show them how to get around instead of memorizing directions, or using a map. And don't even mention VCR's or typewriters...they'll look at you with a blank stare.

I don't really know how to "solve" these problems. Should we get rid of our technology and go back to old-fashioned times? I really appreciate our gadgets, and think they provide valuable security and ease, but at what price to our children? Or maybe I'm just really over thinking this, and in the future, all of our cool gadgets will be so antiquated that I shouldn't have worried at all.

1 comment:

  1. I think the same things! In the car, Andrew will tell me to "skip" a song if he doesn't like it's on an Ipod not the radio! He gets mad at me and totally doesn't understand. The spelling stuff bugs me so bad too. And another older kids have to PAUSE and figure out the time if they aren't looking at a digital clock. I go beserk when they do that! I ALWAYS dream about going back to a phone on the wall with a cord, no cell phones (can you imagine!), 3 TV channels, a tape recorder you use to tape your favorite songs off the radio...I remember waiting for hours for my favorite song to come on so I could record it...and no microwave. It just sounds great to me...
    As I sit and type on my laptop, and listen carefully to the buzz of the baby monitor.


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