A YouTube video popped up on the net a little while ago showing a toddler interacting with an IPad and then interacting with a magazine in the same way. When the toddler began to swipe her hand across the magazine and found no effect she got bored with it. The inference was that the toddler thought, “Hey this magazine doesn’t work.” This video received so much attention because it catches the way future generations will know how to interact with the world. But what are the implications?
First here it is…
We want to make sure not to fall into the famous Beatles error. This is when parents of kids who were listening to the Beatles would say, “This music is going to destroy the world.” We have all seen how this hasn’t happened, but it’s too common for a new technology or idea to be met with skepticism and fear. So is the IPad, this new way of interacting with moving images at the swipe of a hand going to be the downfall of this toddler’s generation and those to come?
But it is important to consider that we’re in the midst of a vastly changing world when it comes to the fact of technology being woven into humanity. We see it live in this video. And you might say that this has been happening for a while now; most of us feel a physical tug in our chest when we can’t find our cell phones.
The average kid spends 7 hours of screen time a day. That is 7 hours in front of some screen albeit a phone, television or computer.
It’s just worth being curious about how that lays the ground for what’s considered regular ways of relating to the world. I don’t think the research is conclusive that it necessarily a “bad” thing, but it’s certainly not conclusive that is a “good” thing either.
One thing we know is that what we practice and repeat becomes automatic and the automatic nature of constant interaction with technology is simply a reality.
However, there are great benefits to unplugging, but because it’s going to be (and already is) automatic to plug in, we need to understand that unplugging is going to have to be scheduled or at the least intentional in the moment and that’s okay.
Where can you unplug today, see what your experience is, we don’t need to be enslaved by the automaticity that simply comes with the way the world has become.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big technology supporter, but I'm also a big supporter of the fruits that come to stress reduction, wellness and our relationships when we learn how to unplug.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.