Is technology making our kids anti-social?

A not-so-recent, out-of-town holiday with a bunch of friends and kids across age groups threw up an interesting observation.

Familiarity with each other on account of prior frequent meetings, gender and age saw various sub-groups being created amongst the kids. The common unifying factor which brought all of them together was the tablet. Post completing their dinner at a restaurant, the kids, thankfully, focused on competing with each other on games on the tablet as opposed to running around and creating a general nuisance for the parents and other patrons.

Another instance of an office get-together, which only had two kids as part of the party, saw both of them busy on their respective screens.

What would have been interesting to see in the above situations is how would they have entertained themselves in the absence of tablets or any other smart device. Considering that technology is very much part and parcel of our lives now, the larger question here is whether the tablet is better or worse than the dumb charades, name-place-animal-thing, singing, or any other mental or pocket game, or games we would cook up to keep ourselves entertained, which were a part of our growing up years.

I guess technology is here to stay and such devices will only increasingly prevail—but will that be at the cost of making our kids anti-social?

Reverse Parenting

Man is the father of the child but today’s kids can at times dawn the parenting role.

Surprise surprise but yes.

Advent of technology has led to proliferation and access to information beyond traditional books.

Kid’s today are much more informed and aware compared to our decade. The five almost must screens of life, i.e. smart phone, tablet, computer/laptop, television and movies screen has only contributed to the generation being more aware.

An example of this I saw when my friend became a vegan on his son’s insistence. Why because his son at a young age of 6 formed an opinion that being vegan is healthier. (Not discussing the merit or demerit of his choice here).

My son encourages and pushes his grandfather to go for a walk as he recognizes that walking is healthy and a must. I have been told by my friends who smoke of having being told off by their kids and how eventually it has helped them kick the butt.

This trend of reverse parenting or influencing is only going to continue and will be for the better I hope.