Thursday, July 19, 2018

Social Media and Technology: Sometimes Parent Have No Clue.

August 3, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( Parents and their children talking about the influence of technology and the family structure. Can sometimes be a conflicting and heated discussion. Technology is slowly unraveling the family structure of bonding as one to being lead to unravel like twine from a bundle.

Talking with families like the Harris family during a workshop discussing Social Media and Technology, just one of the many families that organized by Cynthia Gibson, Program Manager
of The Bridge of Northeast Florida to bring attention to the potential dangers of increased tech usage by youth, teens and young adults.

Even parental use can cause problems because parent’s attentions
are distracted from their families and children reducing important parenting time and teaching time.

The family structure is a delicate and complex mixture of emotions, socio-economic needs, spiritual connections and biological bonding. When technology is thrown in there is a gap that is created because tech can make life messy and lead to separation, isolation and  dissention. The attention is taken from the norm and thrust into a realm of make-believe, pretend and animation that grabs hold of the senses and refuses to let go.

Over 100 parents and children participated in reviewing a video concerning how Technology, Social Media and Gaming are damaging the family structure resulting in the decrease of family unity, participation in family events and how communities are being affected because technology usage decreases the time children and their families interact with each other and their neighbors.

Data is showing that technology usage can cause behavior and emotional changes that are gradual as the use of technology grows. Brain studies show that youth, teens and young adults connection to their families and friends change because tech even in gaming becomes more of a priority than social connections and food and social engagement.

SCREENAGERS Growing Up In the Digital Age,” Physical changes come in the lose of weight, vision proficiency decreases because of staring at screens, mental stresses that can lead to mental health disorders and even the trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy in some extreme cases when playing violent video games.

The video “SCREENAGERS Growing Up In the Digital Age,” 2017 can be used as a case study for what youth, teens and young adults maybe going through or experiencing if parents are not engaged and involved with their children as they use more technology.

SCREENAGERS Growing Up In the Digital Age,” shares how tech time impacts kids and family development and quality time together.

The video discusses a balance of family time, technology time, community time, school time and the interactions of people and their potential addiction to technology. There are even new and developing businesses like “Restart: Internet Rehabilitation Center” that treat youth, teens and young adults that have become addicted to various forms of technology especially gaming. Providing counseling services to address the needs of gaming and tech addition.

Movies like “Surrogates” 2016, “I Robot” 2004, “Gamer” 2009, “Her” 2013, are associated with how technology affects the human ability to connect, coexistence with tech and develop lines of engagement. Parents must be aware of how much technology their children are exposed to and how much their children are using and who they are connecting to.

Parents are encouraged to take the time to talk to their children and even self-examine how they are role models for technology usage. To provide family time and activity instead of using tech for communication and connection. Just as was told about the television, that TV should not be used to raise children, this is even more of an issue when parents let technology raise their children. The dangers are real and relevant in our digital society.

During the presentation the children presented from elementary to high school to share how they will change their usage to be more active with family and even parents and grandparents spoke in front of the audience sharing what they learned, their fears and even expectations for technology usage from them as parents and for their children. Active engagement is very important because there needs to be open and honest discussion between parents and their children about tech, gaming and social media usage so it does not distract from family time, study time and being a kid to learn from playing and interacting with others.

Social skills and behaviors are learned, shared, evaluated, re-assessed and even modified for children because play and interaction allow for learning and growth. If children are denied the opportunities to learn they will not be able to learn important skills that help them function in society and in their communities.

As African families gain additional access to online content there will be a need to be proactive about addressing potential issues to keep families connected, not just through technology, but through conversation and connections. The family structure is vital to keep communities vibrant and engaged.

Programs seen on PBS – addressing the family and technology are important to help parents understand what children are going through as they mature and interact with technology. Parents are important in this cycle because of the potential for addiction and loosing of social skills by their children an even parents themselves.


We Are Digital Natives

Digital Natives & Digital Immigrants

Staff Writer; William D. Jackson 

Find out more about this talented writer over at; OCS For Education.


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