I recently saw a segment on television about teenagers and the high tech world they’re being raised in. The guest was making suggestions on how parents could monitor the cell phone and online activity and still maintain a good relationship with their kids. She stressed that this is the first generation to be raised like this and we have no idea how it will affect them.
Here’s what concerns me. I’m afraid this generation will grow up being very tech savvy but lacking in real life social and language skills. For example…The way teenagers communicate via text messaging is a language all it’s own.Much of it is slang and shortened versions of words. Online websites such as Facebook allows them the opportunity to socialize without human contact. Great for the shy guy who wants to be popular somewhere…anywhere…but it doesn’t do a thing to prepare him for real life.
What will happen when these kids grow up? That’s where I think my generation was better prepared. We had no choice but to communicate in person, whether it was meeting with a teacher to talk about a class, or hanging out with friends at the local coffee shop (yes…before Starbucks) or going to the library to do research. We were forced to talk to people one on one…make eye contact and use real language to get our point across.
We were better prepared for college interviews, job interviews and business and social interaction because we had grown up talking in person our whole lives.
I’m not suggesting that we throw away our cell phones and computers (no-one would be reading this if we did) but I strongly suggest we think about where we’re heading with this high tech way of life.
Will we produce a generation of socially inept adults who have no idea how to shake a hand and look someone in the eye….have good bedside manner…make their point in the classroom or courtroom…reach out to a neighbor…talk to their children…the list goes on and on.
As my generation says..It’s food for thought.