Sooo…Does Technology ruin childhood? Before we go any farther here please use your cranky, old person inside voice to answer the question. I’ll wait….. OK, we’re back. My initial reaction to this statement was “Dang Tootin'” and I started to come up with reasons as to why. I realized I was looking at the present through my past experiences. On reflection, my answer to that question is a resounding “No”. I will use a couple of points to tell you why I decided on No.
Point Numero Uno – Look, Technology has always been with us. From the time our ancient ancestors harnessed fire to use for exciting things like cooking food or keeping big nasty creatures at bay at night, right up until the adaptation of 3-D printer technology to make tissue, we have used our intellect to experiment with the world around us. When I was a young lad (back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth) our society was making the slow transition (at least in Saskatoon) from radio as a primary entertainment source in the home to black and white television technology. The early TV sets were rather crude, tube driven affairs with the princely choice of 1 channel – the CBC. My parents always were after my brothers and I to sit at least 6 feet back from the tube lest we become irradiated monsters. Speaking of monsters, nuclear power / weapons were on the minds of most of my parent’s generation because they had witnessed the aftermath of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This fear was played out in such great Saturday afternoon movie fare as
or one of my personal favourites
These, and other B-grade science fiction flicks of the ’50s, played upon our darkest fears about technology we did not understand. Was splitting the atom going to lead to the destruction of all mankind? Was sitting too close to an old black and white going to make us all sterile? Why couldn’t we just forget that new-fangled technology and go back to the good old days? WE COULDN’T BECAUSE IT WAS NO LONGER POSSIBLE (sorry for the shouting). Society had undergone a paradigm shift and was no longer going to be the same. The same thing applies to today’s technology – whether it’s found in smart phones, the internet, or with advances in 3-D printing and nanotechnology. It’s here and it’s not going to go away. Strap in, keep your hands and feet inside the ride, and hang on…
Point Number Two (Sorry I used up my extensive knowledge of Spanish in the point above). The second point I would like to make is this: Technology doesn’t ruin childhoods – Shitty fucking parenting does. I apologize for the language but come on, you need a license to drive or buy booze and smokes, but any two brain-dead, mouth breathing humps can get together and whelp offspring. I seen the end results of such matings and they ain’t pretty. These poor kids have 2 strikes against from the beginning. I’ve worked with students who have fought and struggled to escape their families of origins and just when they thought they had finally left it all behind something happens to drag them back into the fire. So, no, I don’t think technology ruins childhood. I think we do a fine job of that ourselves. Hey…if you are reading this and you have small children please give ’em a hug and let them know you love them….