By MARYSSA MCFADDEN
I can still remember my first real encounter with technology. It was in June, the summer before I started high school and I was 13 years old. All of my friends were signing up for Facebook so I did too, but it was months before I became an active user.
However, in today’s world, a mere six years later, this would be considered old to be introduced to the World Wide Web.
I could never say I hate technology. I honestly love all of the new advances, websites and information readily available at our fingertips. Especially because it wasn’t available.
Technology is great – for the people who are mature enough to use it.
The first time technology scared me was when my three-year-old nephew called me on the phone one night. He was playing with my sister’s cellphone and somehow dialed my number. While it seemed innocent at the time I couldn’t help but wonder who else he could have called.
Another time technology scared me was just a few weeks later. I received a friend request on Facebook from my friend’s six-year-old brother. She said he only wanted “friends” so he had someone to play games against and it was totally harmless.
That’s the terrifying aspect though. Even young children can access so much on the Internet which could have severe consequences. They are still too young to understand these dangers.
I have heard many people comment on how fast youth seem to be growing up nowadays, but we are the ones allowing this to happen.
When I was six years old I was playing make-believe and spending all of my time outdoors, but because we are so tuned in to our phones and the Internet it is deemed normal for children to be on the Internet as well.
Our youth may be growing up too fast, but I think we are paving that road for them.
By allowing kids to have access to such a vast amount of websites, apps and information it is giving them the opportunity to get themselves into serious trouble when they are not yet mature enough to understand the consequences.
It is understandable how people get hooked so quickly to the web. Technology is everywhere and for some it takes over their lives, but let’s not allow this big wide world to take over the lives of our kids as well.
Go outside and play with your children, and encourage their imaginations. Log out of those websites at least for a little while when they are around.
Maybe if they see adults less worried about social media and technology they will follow in our footsteps so they can grow up knowing technology is great, but isn’t the be all and end all.