TED Conversations

scott lee

This conversation is closed.

Is technology actually GOOD for children?

In modern society we are giving more and more technology to kids. Whether this is a good thing depends on who you ask.

Some say giving kids more access to computers gives them an opportunity of a head start in learning how to use them, giving them an edge in succeeding in an ever more computerized world. Others say computers are depriving kids of natural play, exercise and in some cases even interfering with brain development.

Some say it is giving children never before seen abilities to connect with other kids from all over the globe, giving them access to other cultures, points of view and ways of seeing the world. Others say the reliance on computers and social networking is stunting kids development of real face to face social skills which are crucial to success in the real world.

Some say the web gives kids never before seen access to information. From wikipedia to online books, from online education to you tube how to manuals, kids can now find the answer to more questions than their parents or teachers could ever know. Others point out that with all that information comes video games, advertising and child centered marketing which is undermining parent's ability to instill wisdom and values on to the next generation. They say the child centered marketing is promoting narcissism and materialism to kids; promoting violence and aggression to boys and sexualization and negative body images to young girls.

Parents can't really always control what their kids use computers for and it is sometimes easier to restrict access that to be a censor. As parents should we be encouraging our kids to use computers and smartphones at a young age or should we be sheltering them from the consequences that technology brings with it?

How young is to young?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 1 2011: Are the genes you passed on to your children good for them? Is your culture good for them? What choice do you have? Yes, in your example involving the internet, there is some choice and some control you can exert, but first principle: do no harm. Don't act out of fear. Be a guide, not a censor. Teach them the good parts and explain why to avoid the bad parts, whatever that means to you, playing your parental role as best you can. Relax, and give them plenty of loving attention.

    So much for the platitudes. In theory, our new culture of open information and intense connectivity may save our species and bring us to amazing new levels. In practice, as a parent, so many new challenges. Sitting is bad for their health, violent games seem so very wrong, and in real life, they don't get to be resurrected every time they get killed.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.