"The sharp increase in digital use suggests that most young people prefer the interactive enticements of on-line browsing to old-fashioned reading. This is not surprising for an age group readily attracted to the edgey, the excessive and the titillating. As economist Tyler Cowan says,"When access to information is easy, we tend to favour the short, the sweet and the bitty." The trend toward the superficial and the abbbreviated, fostered by the inherently beguiling nature of handheld devices, poses a real threat to helping young people learn how to think....
Unless young people shut out, at least to some degree, the outer stimuli that surround them and that are constantly vying for their attention, they have little chance for experiencing true introspection.....
Faced with these choices, young people are constantly being lured away from undistracted quiet, away from contemplative moments."
_ "Teenage technoholics: The Digital Revolution, it's Effect on Your Children and What Parents Can Do" by David Sloan, published in the Spring/Summer edition of "Renewal."
The excitement and sparkle of the girls' belly-dancing performance over the weekend.
Pondering technological engagement and introspection for myself and the girls.
I don't do TV or facebook or twitter or even have internet access on my cellphone. I feel the pressure, especially with facebook but I just keep choosing to "miss out" on that.
I do love the community of bloggers I have found on the internet but there is a fine line between the technological engagement filling me up and tipping into being a drain.
I have recently started to track my time on the computer since with emails and blogging I can find myself on the computer at night rather than doing things I would rather be doing, having quiet time or just going to bed. Tracking the time makes it more conscious.
For the girls, now and again they watch a movie. The old-fashioned, slow-paced movies, often musicals, are their favourites and what we keep coming back to again and again; Polyanna, Mary Poppins, The Secret Garden, The Wizard of Oz.
That's the level of their technological engagement and we are good with that.
Childhood is a short window of time.
Delaying the allure of digital technology means there is more time to play.
Delaying it means we have more space to grow a relationship with the real world and the people in it.
Delaying it also means that we have the time to build a relationship with ourselves in the quiet moments between.
We figure that this will give them a more solid foundation for when the time comes that they choose to step out into that technological highway.
Where do you find your balance with the digital world?