General Observations

Broad thoughts about technology in the home.

A Little Byte: Curate

4187949970 224516613c - A Little Byte: CurateWhat do you see when you frame your family’s computer with your fingers and squint?  Seurat’s Sunday on La Grand Jatte? A chaotic Jackson Pollack?  A Steve Jobs original? A Disney collectible? Munch’s The Scream?

It’s likely no two parents will agree on what having technology in the picture looks like to a child’s social, educational, emotional and physical development.

For example, a reasonable amount of social time online for an only child may be different than for a child who has multiple siblings with which to interact. How do you need to frame and position your family’s use of technology so that it allows them to thrive? It’s easy to be the critic–much harder to be a curator.

Check out the blog for specific ideas.

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What’s Your Philosophy of Technology?

4472813704 708cda65c9 - What's Your Philosophy of Technology?

Full of Energy!

What’s your philosophy of technology?

 I intend to ensure my child will never access a computer outside of the library!

 I keep my child so busy he doesn’t have time to desire technology.

 I despair that my child likes technology!

 I don’t mind that my child likes it; it won’t hurt him.

 It’s a technological age; I’m glad my child likes technology!

 My philosophy, today, is this:  It’s a technological age; I’m glad my child likes technology! And it’s also this: I despair that my child likes it!

These conflicting philosophies create a confusing duality for my son when I try to help him manage his technology time.

You want to learn Photoshop? No problem, enjoy! Show me later what you’ve learned!  

You want to play Minecraft?  You could be writing! Reading! Playing with an embodied friend!  Picking up trash in  the neighborhood!

I don’t think computers are inherently bad. Computers can be good, valuable, useful, and productive.  No doubt my mindset stems from my first association with a computer: It was at work in the early ‘80s.  Computers meant work. So when I see a child at a keyboard, I feel they are working when they could be playing or learning.  I sense a missed developmental opportunity.

Children today don’t yet make that association.  They see various forms of computers (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, whatever) as fun tools.  Tools to communicate—call, write, tweet, post pictures and otherwise share.  Tools to play—games, music, movies, and videos. Tools to accomplish goals—make music, create art, achieve a game level, move forward as a budding entrepreneur.

But for me, seeing a child at a screen mostly prompts a negative visceral reaction.  My heart senses missed opportunity. I feel anxiety.  I want him to do anything else!  But that perspective, I have come to realize, is an artifact from my life’s experiences with computers. It is not my child’s experience with computers. He has grown up into a different world of computers than I did.

In my younger days there was plenty of time to play outdoors and plenty of kids to play with there.  In so many neighborhoods that just isn’t true anymore.  Children gravitate toward computers for play, for friendship, for competition, for involvement in the world into which they have been born.

When it’s time to work, they will simply use the same technology tools they played with as children, and life will have a certain flow to them it didn’t have for those of us who were already young adults when computers first expanded our worlds.

What’s your philosophy of technology?

You may figure it out reading these posts.

Photo bycc - What's Your Philosophy of Technology? Vinoth Chandar via Compfight