Technology – bouncing us all about !

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

32 thoughts on “Technology – bouncing us all about !”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more Claire. I have been informed by my son in his 20’s that it may be a ‘phase’ and I hold that in mind when I see my 16 year old daughter clinging to her phone as though her life depends on it ( her social life DOES depend on it). I do have a couple of rituals that I insist are device free. Family dinner is for conversation at the end of the day when we all come together ( the exception is when we need to ‘google’ something to verify a topic ). Driving in the car is for chatting ( I am NOT a chauffeur I say) and as many parents know often the most intimate convos can happen here. I can’t wait for your next blog Claire….I love the way your mind works ! Lucinda

    1. Thanks Lucinda, You’re my first comment and so lovely to have it from someone who is living with this issue currently.
      I think sharing solutions will be one of the functions of this blog. Especially on a topic like this which is new for all of us. Claire

  2. Hey Claire, long time no contact, either via an instrument or person to person speak.
    Lol (in techno language lingo)
    My mobile is my secretary. So dependant or otherwise technology is here to stay.
    When twice I had left Vic Public Service, once in the early 90’s and then in the mid 2000’s; both times my returns to work were greeted by a PC on my desk. First time, I was terrified of it, second time around, it had to be my office room-mate and my colleague. Without it I could not function, (not my choice) but evolving work methods dictated that.
    But yes, i too have young nieces and nephew and yes can see with worried looks, thinking, “How far will this go and how will it change their young personalities?”

    1. Khorshed, how lovely to hear from you, and very funny given the topic of my first blog.
      Highlights one of the advantages of technology!
      Yes it’s definitely here to stay, how we take charge of it rather than it taking charge of us
      is the challenge.

    2. Hi Claire,
      I also have lots of conversations about technology in children’s lives with parents. The thing that I keep coming back to is the fact that the kids have relationships with their devices, not with their parents. Often the parent also has an intense relationship with their device/s so what is being role modeled I wonder?
      When I question this to parents in a parenting group, they seem truly surprised by the unconscious message they are giving to their kids and wonder why the relationship between them is suffering or distant.
      Research tells us that technology alters brain development. The neural pathways become stronger in these areas. What does this mean, Claire, as you mentioned, we are mammals and as such we are connected by love and relationships. I think we are already see the consequence of this lack of relationship/love in society. After all, everywhere we look now in today’s world, is a adoring relationship with technology. We are at the precipice, I think of changing what it now means to be human. What a scary thought!! No connectedness to each other but to an inanimate object. Me thinks, it will be the ‘fall of Rome’

      1. Thanks Helena for your comment, yes I think something important is happening when are relationships are navigated through a third person – so to speak.
        In my June blog I’m going to explore how we can integrate techonology in a way that is consistent with the core values of the family. Haven’t quite formulated my thinking yet but very happy for suggestions.

  3. Hi Claire & Tilly :
    It seems that technology like Skype & Viber keeps Family members connected when those Family “Transitions” … & geographical distances occur !

    1. Hi Judy, great to get a comment from a different perspective. Yes technology definitely
      helps with connection. It’s one of the themes I want to pick up in my next blog.
      As a guide to technology use – how to clarify intention – is it assisting with connection or disconnection
      and how to assess the accuracy of the claim, particularly if made by an adolescent.
      Although Tilly always prefers direct contact!

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