Recently, I have been finding myself using a phrase which is used in social circles WAY beyond my years :
“Back when I was young…”
Like seriously?! I haven’t even reached a quarter of a century and I’m making myself sound like I’ve bared and raised ten children through a great depression… The sad thing is, the more technology and its programs progress, the more I feel eligible to parrot this.
I can’t say that I understand what it’s like to live in a world without a glisten technological utopia. The thing is, Technology and I grew up together. (You could say we were pretty much biffles). However, like some friendships do, we sadly seemed to drift apart. Eventually Technology surpassed me for an opportunity in a fresher crowd: Children BORN into technology.
From owning the latest Apple iPad to android equivalent, babies and children of our present society have been completely immersed within a world driven by technology and media platforms. It was only the other day that I had my eight-year-old sister sent me a text to my iPhone from her iPad mini… this meaning that she would have set up her own Apple ID… (My response: “Are you kidding me? You’re eight.”) At family functions, each of my younger cousins are individually engrossed within their gadgets. YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Pinterest and Club Penguin – are just SOME of the media platforms I’ve noted them using before they lock their screens and utter up at me “What are you spying for?” What ever happened to playing make-believe dragons and occasionally eating some play-dough?!
Are the children that are being born into this ‘technological utopia’ missing out on those precious years of childhood? Or as time and technology have shifted forward, have we merely altered our understanding of what it means to be a child?
Today it is irregular to witness a little girl pushing her baby doll in a pram alongside her mother in a shopping centre. Everywhere a child can be seen, each of their tiny chubby hands is a device. Being a child growing up with technology meant that I lived through its’ development yet media and social platforms were not as readily assessable to me from infancy. Electronics came with a larger expense in ownership and from what I recall, children did not own their own devices. On playdates, we relied on our friend having a few Barbie and Ken dolls, and maybe a baby born (if spoilt).
Yes, I grew up with technology and consider myself severely suffering when I haven’t had a chance to update on each and every news feed I am connected to…BUT I also grew up with a whole lot of personal connection to the world outside technology and CAN survive without it.
Will these new generations ever know anything more than being technologically ‘connected’?
For their sake, I hope so.
– Larn X