You might be wondering, “Why are kids nowadays lacking important life skills?” The introduction to affordable household technologies, like iPads, iPhones, fast wireless internet, and a vast amounts of accessible entertainment for people of all ages, has caused kids, specifically, to miss out on a whole range of learning, physical activity, and emotional intelligence skills.
We all know that kids spend a lot of time with their gadgets, but did you know that on average, the youth of today’s society spend 6 ½ hours a day looking at their screens? Did you also know that recent studies have shown that the time we spend looking at our screens increases dopamine production in a way that produces addictive behavior? Children are becoming addicted to technology.
So what does this all mean?
1) Kids are not learning through face-to-face interaction
Because of the addictive properties of using technology, kids are not going outside anymore. Think of how much time you spent outside when you were young. 33% of boys are not getting the recommended daily hour of exercise. Your kids are missing out on the benefits of being outside, like meeting new people, and acquiring the essential skills that come when watching and observing. Essential skills being, expressing and judging emotions of others, social cues (body language, facial expressions, and voice pitch or tone). These are very valuable skills that are used to make and keep friends, fit in at school, and succeed in a career.
2) Kids are losing their creativity
Trevor Baylis, who invented in wine-up radio, says children are losing their creativity and fears that the next generation of inventors and innovators are being lost. Young kids today rarely make things with their own hands. Instead they get their laptops of iPads, go on Amazon.com and buy what they need. When that object breaks, instead of trying to fix it, they throw it away and quickly order a new one (and receive it in 2 days from Amazon Prime). The ease of access to anything and everything our children want is enabling them to not worry about how to fix things, causing them to lose their creativity.
3.) Kids are not learning empathy
Empathy is one of the most important life skill one can have. Being able to put yourself in another person’s shoes is what gives us the our tolerant, caring, and sharing emotions. Kids can’t empathize with devices and are losing out on the experiences that influence them to express empathy. The best way to make friends and keep them is to share, thank, and appreciate those around you.
Overall, because digital media and technology isn’t going anywhere. So, get your kids off their devices. Make them go outside, play sports, go to camp. Enable your kids to make real world, face-to-face interactions, to be creative and follow their passions. Because if they don’t they are missing out on important aspects of a happy, healthy, and successful life.