We are all aware of today’s rapid development in many industries across the world. The main hub of this modernisation is technology. Nowadays we communicate through e-mail, or apps such as Snapchat and Viber. Posting a letter is seen as being old fashioned and dial up internet is a phenomenon that is the centre of many jokes. Many people in their teens probably don’t even remember teletext, VCR s or CDs…not to mind cassettes!
The majority of young generation of today are given a mobile phone when they are seven or eight and have their heads buried in iPads from the moment they can talk. This is what has become known as the digital age or digital generation. This article from wired.com takes an interesting approach to this development. The question is, is there such a thing as too much technology? Shouldn’t young children be outside playing in the fresh air instead of downloading apps? Or has this digital age become the ‘norm’. It wasn’t so long ago that having an e-mail account was a big novelty, yet in the past ten years technology has advanced at lightning speed, leaving an older generation out witted by toddlers in terms of technical know-how.
Of course there are for and against the notion of children being exposed to technology at such a young age. One thing that has struck me though witnessing my younger family members with their iPads, is the sheer lack of fear that children have when it comes to learning or trying new things. Small children are innocent and aren’t afraid of failing like us adults are, thus their competency with digital devices seems almost inevitable to a certain degree. What was accessible for us to learn as children differs to what is available now, is it wrong, or is it our ignorance as adults that deems it so? The Guardian questions whether it is a case of too much too young, yet NAEYC.ORG talks about the benefits of digitally aided education.
There is definitely merits to both arguments, but it seems this rapid development is something we cannot control but can surely nurture. This generation are the future scientists, doctors and leaders of the world, and as much as we may not like to admit it, its technology that will help them achieve their life goals. Obviously with more exposure to technology, the risks of young kids being targeted become a huge concern. Therefore parents and teachers need to be extra vigilant and supervision should be carried out at home and in school. When we judge children’s use of technology we fail to remember that our grandparents probably thought that we were technically ‘savvy’ with our VCRs and cassettes. The digital age is just a natural progression that is a reflection of how far this world has come and how much potential it still has.