Saturday, March 22, 2014

Banning Technology

I've seen a few things going around lately about banning technology from kids, for all kinds of fearful, hyped up reasons. I just wanted to share a few of the neat things technology has allowed in our lives lately. Last night, my kids got to play a video game with their uncle who lives 2 states away. They do this every few weeks, and it's really neat, because they probably wouldn't know him otherwise. Just talking on the phone can be awkward between a single guy and little kids, but having the video game to connect over meant at least an hour of conversation.
Also, my mom and my aunt are on a trip through Italy right now. The kids and I are able to "follow" them with google earth. Starting from the San Fransisco airport, tracking their path to Germany and then Italy, seeing the B&B where they are staying, the art museum the visited, the walk they went on, etc. has all been really neat. Plus when my kids ask a question I don't know the answer to, I'm able to pull up pictures, videos and answers in 2 minutes flat.
L loves coloring in pictures on an app on the phone and then being able to play it back, so I can see the process she used. We can play board games on free apps without the expense of buying them or the mess of cleaning them up. They can stay connected with family by writing emails back and forth. All of my kids have favorite tv shows and video games that bring laughter, questions, conversations, and a way to unwind into our home.
Could we survive without technology? Well, based on the fact that E played outside with friends for, literally, at least 8 hours today and L and Z did the same for at least 4... yes, I think we'd manage. But I can't imagine why would I want to take away these amazing modern resources for learning, connecting with people, and entertainment.


  1. Banning aside, are there any examples or ways that you limit screen time in any way? Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Well, I don't consider it "screen time." Tv and computer screens can be used for dozens of different things- reading, playing games, writing, listening to music, research, viewing a map, watching movies and vidoes, looking at pictures- and all of those things can be broken down further. Reading can be comics or Shakespeare or historical fiction or a scientific study. Playing games could mean anything from Minecraft to Halo to Farmville- all very different. A thousand kinds of music. A million things of interest to look up. Thousands of movies and tv shows and even more youtube videos on almost any topic in the world.

    So, no I don't arbitrarily limit their exploration of any of those things.

    There are real life limits- we only have one xbox and one computer, so there is frequent taking turns. But that's the same as only having one oven, so we can't all cook in it at the same time. Or one piano, so they can't all play it at the same time. I help them take turns and find other ways around the real life limits. I'm their facilitator who helps them overcome real life limits- I'm not the roadblock that stands in their way.

    I hope that answers your question! Thanks for commenting! :)