Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why I feel sorry for kids in this generation....

Although I appreciate the convenience of technology, and all of the good ways technology has made our human lives more efficient, I really resent the way technology has interrupted the beauty of face to face communication.  As a kid, I always loved going out to eat with my family in restaurants because it meant we could relax, sit at a big table, and talk and socialize for hours in a way we didn't at home (my mother worked during the day, and my father worked nights, so we didn't normally share meals together).  Whether I'm in the US, Spain or China, I've noticed that going out to eat is more common in this generation.  Perhaps because my peers and I grew up with microwaves, or people are not as partial to eating "mama's home cookin'", or maybe because eating at home really isn't as cost efficient as it used to be (at least according to this study by the USDA).

In my humble opinion, I think going out to eat should be a special treat for kids to enjoy with their families.  Yet how can they enjoy the experience if they don't communicate face to face?  Now I'm sure critics said the same thing when the telephone or even the television was invented; that the technology would change the dynamic of family communication.  Now it seems we've arrived to a new [worse] level of disconnect as parents spend 40+ minutes in a restaurant without speaking to their child once!  At least kids in the States have siblings to talk to; here in China, most families only have one child, and if the kids don't speak with their parents during meal time, who should they socialize with?



They interact with their iPad...

He pulled out his iPad after being ignored for 40 minutes.  This family literally did not talk for the ENTIRE meal.

Then people wonder why children can't sit still in class for longer than 5 minutes without becoming antsy-they're always connected to something digital!  They're always being overstimulated by lights, sounds, flashing screens, etc.

If parents aren't demonstrating the behavior of positive and effective questioning and communication with their children, how are kids supposed to know how to do it themselves?  How are kids supposed to know how to communicate well with their peers?

When adults sit at the dinner table with the phone/gadget in their hands, it's very rude behavior.  However, I think it's more damaging when parents do it to their kids, and perhaps families of this generation would be better off if gadgets were banned from the dinner table.

What do you think?  Should we be talking or texting with our companions at the dinner table?

paz.amor.felicidad siempre <3


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