Rewiring the Youth

In Matt Richtel’s “Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction”, Richtel notices, not only the current youth generation’s dependency on technology, but how it effects children of different cultures differently. For the more financially comfortable youth, technology is used more responsibly than those of lower income. If led the right path, technology can help students rather than harm them.

From a young age, we are surrounded by technology; if not steered into using our laptops, phones, and other electronics for personal gain, we fall victim to their tempting but distracting entertainment outlets. Students of lower income families are more prone to fall for these temptations due to the fact that their parents/guardians are too busy providing for the family to concentrate on what their child’s electronic activities are. However, it may stem deeper than that; children of lower income families do not have as much support in their everyday life. With consistent absence of a guardian, they are left with less of a connection with someone who can assist them with difficult issues, or even with homework. When frustrated and alone, humans facing times of hardship find any way to escape their problems. If a child has no one to help them with their homework, or with a problem distracting them from homework, they will turn to entertainment for consolation and comfort rather than their schoolwork. Entertainment distracts them from reality, while social medias provide connections in ways that can be potentially harmful or dangerous (such as a lonesome and naive child turning to a predator for comfort).

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There is only so much monitoring a parent can do, of course, but a little effort can go a long way. Instead of attempting to strictly restrain a child’s technological use, parents should try to guide their child to want to limit themselves. When forced to do something, it is in our nature to protest and fight anything that goes against our free will. Not only is it impossible to manage every click and action on a child’s laptop screen, but it will also be undermined by the child. If given respect, humans (including children) will want to return the respect. By providing young students with the truth of the consequences and benefits technology has to offer, and the trust to make the right decisions on their own, students will aspire to please and control themselves at a young age; our main goal while progressing through technology should be to control it for our benefit, not be controlled by it’s enticing and ever-distracting medias.

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Rewiring the Youth

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