Yesterday, I saw a child who intrigued me. He had a sheriff’s pin attached to his shirt and he was clutching a colorful octopus. He was smiling as he entertained himself and his family, obviously caught up in the childhood world of fantasy.
A few weeks ago, I watched a woman put a laptop computer down in front of a young child as the family ate dinner. There was a movie playing and as the parents enjoyed their meal the little girl sat and watched the movie. There was no conversation between the 3 of them…not one single word. I found that very sad and more importantly, potentially harmful to the child.
Technology can enhance a child’s learning capabilities…no argument there …but it can’t replace human interaction. The parents lost out on a wonderful opportunity to converse with their child, building her language and communication skills. The computer…a machine… became the babysitter.
The little boy playing with the octopus was learning to use his imagination without relying on technology to do the work for him. A throw back in time…perhaps…But I do believe there’s a lesson to be learned here.