In this age of computers and instant everything, how do we, as human beings, and parents in particular, slow down enough to take a real breath, to really look around us, to smell the flowers? How do we as responsible human beings stop ourselves, and our children, from looking at inappropriate things?
In our house, modern technology has arrived full force. As a mother of children, ranging from ages 30 to 10, I have had the unique perspective of knowing what itâ€™s like raising children with and without computers. I will say in all honesty, that the pre-computer age was a lot easier. I had more control over what my children saw and who they interacted with.
In 1992, we got rid of our TV. We felt that turning on the television, opened ourselves up to outside influences we deemed inappropriate. Getting rid of the TV was the best thing we ever did. It allowed our children to be more creative with their time, and allowed them to interact with each other, and us, more.
Then came the computer! At first it was fun. We could play games, write papers and store them, surf the internet, albeit slowly. Technology has advanced to such a point that a person doesnâ€™t have to leave home anymore. From shopping, to education, to advice, the internet has it all. Children donâ€™t need friends anymore; parents donâ€™t need to interact with their kids. We stay in contact with our friends through email, through facebook, through anything except the old fashioned wayâ€¦in person. What have we become?!
Iâ€™m not abdicating that we throw out our computers. Computers can be used for good, as I humbly write this blog. Iâ€™m suggesting moderation and balance. Iâ€™m suggesting using the computer as a tool, as one would use a ruler, or a pencil or even a newspaper. Computers are here to serve us, to make our lives easier, not to become our babysitters and especially not to take over our humanity. Ask yourself when was the last time you went a week, or a day, without going on the internet.
When a child chooses to be on the computer, instead of running outside and playing on a beautiful sunny day, when a parent chooses to be on the computer, instead of spending quality time with their children, their partner or their friends, a warning bell needs to go off. We need to stop and breathe again, to relook at who we are and why we are here on this earth. We need to get out and smell the flowers, and we need to do it together with our family and our friends.
Take your kids out to the park, get together with your friends, sit outside with a cup of tea, breathe, look, smell…and do it today.