“I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity.
The world will only have a generation of idiots.” - Albert Einstein
I'm positive that we've seen the above scenes in our daily wanderings. Groups of people that are engaged in anything but face to face social behavior. In a day where these gadgets can feel like an extension of our bodies, where we draw the line on use can be a tricky thing. I'm a gadget nut and I like my tablet and smart phone quick a bit. However, when my in-laws pointed out how good my 'Lil Man was as using their phones at 18-24 months awhile ago, I started thinking more about how these gadgets fit into our lives.
A co-worker told me that they have no gaming devices in his home. His son and son's friends say that their house is "boring". This saddens me quite a bit, but that's another post.
I'm not overly strict when it comes to using and playing on our smart devices. They've proven to be fun to play as a family, and have been GREAT babysitters. I've also seen the abuse that has caused my boy to revert to wetting himself during potty training, and my 'Lil Miss to become somewhat addicted to the point of talking back and throwing fits when banned from use. I read a post on Playground Dad that discussed this topic with some great tips to manage tablet use. While we're all on own to make decisions when it comes to rules around eProducts, here are a few of ours:
* Out of sight, out of mind - We've found that if the gadgets are out of site, the kids will revert to coloring, playing outside, playing with each other in the play room with blocks and train sets, etc.
* Timing the use of gadgets - When our Wee Lass was born, it was easy to let the older two use the tablets, and they were on them for HOURS. Timing their use helps to keep it in check.
* Be engaged with your children - I remember reading an article that said watching cartoons could be good if you watched with your children, engaging them on what they see, hear and learn. I've adopted that with our learning and "for fun" games, and it's kept it from becoming a separator.
I took a picture of a family that is the same number as ours, but much older than us at the time I took it. I keep it as a reminder that while these devices have a place, it should never replace.