Technology is so much a part of us, that it’s repercussions transcend all ages. The power of the internet has not changed the way we do business, but it has also changed the way Governments, Schools and Families conduct their daily lives.
Recently, I was interviewed by Channel News Asia for the program “On the Red Dot”, to talk about technology and children. Personally, I don’t think that Parents should be afraid of technology or the internet. The Buzz Word among Parents today is “Cyber Addiction”. However, we as children also faced similar challenges when we were young. My Parents were always complaining about me listening to my Sony “Walkman” and later, it was the “Discman”. Every parent was worried that their children would be addicted to their “Game and Watch” and playing “Parachute” or “Donkey Kong” , at the expense of their studies. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
Parents should therefore not be afraid of the internet and technology. We should embrace it and keep up to date with it. My children love it, when I occasionally challenge them to a game of “Subway Surfer” or the “Minion Rush”. The kids love it, when I show them videos of themselves on YouTube. The internet is just like a car. A car brings you places, in the same way, Twitter can communicate to places beyond physical boundaries and start a revolution in Egypt. Both are powerful weapons in the right hands.
I believe that we should teach our children how to best utilize the technology in their hands. Exposure should be measured and age appropriate to their level of maturity. I would not introduce to them violent games, nor would I give them free access to a chat room or to an unfiltered YouTube account. Just as a driving instructor, who teaches us how to safely drive a car, and navigate past obstacles, we as Parents have a duty to instruct our children about technology.
It is with this premise, that I answered these questions on Channel News Asia. Many thanks once again to the Media Literacy Council for allowing me to represent them. It was a great experience!