How To Understand Technology’s Proper Place
As we all know, technology is both a blessing and a curse. As with everything, there is a proper time and place for the use of technology. It is not the answer and cure for all of our problems but it does open doors and offer solutions for the betterment of our world. When you stop to think about the rapid advances in technology in the last 10 years alone, it makes one wonder how we ever managed to get on without it for the previous centuries!
The thing we have to realize as parents and as educators is that, while technology is good and has its place in our lives, it is not the end all be all, go-to, first solution for every educational approach in our children’s lives. Some things are still best learned the old fashioned way. Tapping a screen will never build the fine-motor strength needed for writing like hours scribbling with crayons will do. Staring at screens, no matter how educational the content, will never awaken the senses and the imagination of a child like an hour or two of playing outside will do.
Knowing effective, positive uses for technology in our families and in our own lives is critical to giving our students a balanced approach to the technological wave and the endless expectations to engage in every level of technology offered to us. Our goal should be to ensure that we are leveraging technology at the proper pace and place to maintain a balance in our technological lives. But how can we distinguish the good from the bad?
Below are a few ideas to help you discern when technology is in and out of its proper place.
- Technology is in its proper place when it bonds us to the people we actually know. Technology is not in its proper place when we bond with total strangers, pro-athletics, artist or actors we will never meet.
- Technology is in its proper place when it sparks great conversations. It is not in its proper place when it isolates us and prevents us from talking and listening to others.
- Technology is in its proper place when it helps us care for our bodies and the health of those around us. It is not in its proper place when it promises an escape from vulnerabilities and limits of our bodies.
- Technology is in its proper place when leveraged for educational advancement or mastery of a specific talent or skill. It is out of its proper place when it is used merely as passive consumption.
- Technology is in its proper place when it helps cultivate an awe of the world around us, when it teaches us how to steward our world and how to best engage with needs in places we may never be able to go. It is out of its proper place when it inhibits or prevents us from using our natural senses to engage the world around us.
In addition to these, there are two overarching points to remember. The first is that technology use will look different for every family. You must prayerfully consider what is right for yours. And second, the plan only works when both parents are vigilant and diligent to stay on top of it, checking in and making changes as necessary.
Technology has the potential to serve our families for both good and evil. It is up to you to decide which one will prevail. Technology is not something to fear, but to take seriously. As parents and educators, let’s work together to use technology for the good of our children and not let it rule over our lives.