For my first blog it seems appropriate to write about the technology dilemma that parents often bring into counselling. This is so common, particularly with adolescence, it’s beginning to seem normal
I had a ‘news of difference’ moment in the process of learning about blogging and consquently started to think about technology and it’s impact very differently.
So many parents complain about their teenager’s addiction to technology. Whether it’s gaming or social media, they all feel their adolescent is more attached to this than anything else. The simple solution of restricting access doesn’t seem to work long term, or creates such conflict the whole household lives in misery.
Whilst playing around trying to get this blog out into the world, I had my first dose of technology obsession. I just wanted to keep finding out how it all works, playing around, I felt cranky when clients turned up, or I had to do something like eat.
I suddenly realised the crazyness of the expectation that a 15 year old might actually be able to have the self discipline to voluntarily stop a game, or ignore the arrival of a message on social media.
As I thought about this more, I became aware that most adults don’t have the ability to ignore the ping announcing a text, or a call.
How are our kids going to learn to resist, when most adults can’t. This is a challenge for us all.
One way might be to ongoingly clarify the role we want technology to play in our lives. Obviously this shifts, but in general terms. Do we want to be bounced about with no control? Or do we want to allocate set times and space, just as we would for most other activities?
The aim is to keep social media and gaming in a place were we have control, as opposed to it having control over us. This is a new skill for most of us.
Until we adults can do this, expecting our children to, is probably a little unfair.
Technology has given us many things of value but the down side is we now have many more sources of interruption and distraction. More than ever there is less opportunity to get lost in our own little world of thoughts, or an activity that feeds our sense of wellbeing and so potenially stabilises us.
This is a major contributing factor to a general increase in irritability not only in our children but in us all.
It is a work in progress