Technology and Story
Technology is a part of the reality of our lives. For most children today, they only know a world with internet, iPads, facebook, DVRs, Netflix, and smart phones. The human brain is also a part of the reality of our lives. And the human brain is wired for connectivity – real human to human contact that includes body language, voice inflection, physical touch, and eye contact. To move forward into the future, we have to find a both/and solution to these two realities of human life in the 21st century.
Here are a few things that you may want to experiment with as a way to claim the “both/and” solution to the presence of technology relative to the human need for connection. Everyone in the family practice a technology Sabbath every time the family sits down together to share a meal (whether in the home or at a restaurant). Offer a basket or a bag if necessary to collect the devices. When we eat together, we are present, in this place, open to the relationships that are continually forming. Consider practicing a complete technology Sabbath one day a week – or maybe for a half day to get started. This includes television, computers, smart phones, and video games. And this includes everybody, not just the kids. Consider a family game night in conjunction with your technology Sabbath. Or maybe one night or afternoon everyone in the family read books instead of watching television.
Since many kids have never experienced life before technology, it is incredibly important that the adults in the room model how to survive (and even thrive) without 24×7 contact with an electronic device. Good luck! Comment on this post to tell us about your experiments.