Edward R. Murrow is noted for saying, “The obscure we eventually see, but the completely apparent takes much longer.”
We really have to put the article from over the pond in that category. Here’s a point the author makes:
“It is very hard to prevent children from accessing damaging material through the computer,
but the main issue is that children spend far too long on computers and, as a result,
they are not doing the two things that we want [them] to do, which are reading and conversation.”
The content can be awful, but it is the learning hindrance that really is the danger. Reading marginal material is
far better for the brain’s development than watching good stuff (See Amusing Ourselves to Death -N. Postman).
No one is saying that watching is evil…or…that playing games is demonic. What we are saying is that there is more to life and learning than one simple media. Of course, reading marginal material or watching good stuff is hardly the actual choice we face as parents and educators.
Personally, I am amazed at how the ability to communicate is getting damaged by the mere lack of practice. In our own thinking, we’ve simply set up a system of ‘earning’ computer time with reading time. Probably a weak fix, but we’ve found that our kids actually have learned to love reading as well…sometime I’m amazed (because I’ve always felt a little alone on a love for books).
What are you going to do? You can make your child happy now by indulging the electronic stimulation of the devices…or… you can make them even happier as adults by growing flexibility in their style, focus, and interests!
I’d love your thoughts,