The zombie apocalypse is a prevalent theme throughout the preparedness community. Many believe zombies will be those unprepared to live through a disaster. Although this could very well be true, zombies are already in our communities and the long lasting effects are already being felt.
Recently, a study has come forth indicating that a rising number of children are unable to perform simple tasks due to the heightened use of iPads and computer devices. Children are losing simple motor development skills such as building blocks because of their exposures to these computer devices. Children as young as 3 years old know how to swipe the surface of an ipad, but have little to no dexterity in their hands.
Experts warn that the growth in the digital era is having a serious effect on children’s social and physical development. One expert notes that “brilliant computer skills” [are] shown by many pupils was “outweighed by their deteriorating skills in pen and paper exams because they rely on instant support of the computer and are often unable to apply what they should have learned from their textbooks”. (Source)
A New Generation of Zombies
We have all witnessed people’s heads buried in their cell phones sitting at a table, or children sitting in front of a television and fighting over using an ipad rather than playing with one another. I have witnessed people sitting at the same table in a restaurant but not speaking with each other because they would rather be on their cell phones.
We are creating the next generation of zombies who will be addicted to the internet, and to their digital devices. They may even exhibit aggressive and anti-social behaviors based on this overexposure. Some other symptoms are:
- low grades in school
- weight gain
- aggressive behavior
- lethargy or tiredness
- repetitive strain injury
Further, they will not care about the current events that will affect them or shape the world they live in. They will not be empathetic toward others, have strong belief systems and worst of all, they may not take an active stance in their own lives.
So, What Are We Going To Do About It?
As parents, it’s our job to ensure that our children are using these devices wisely and responsibly. By no means should they be on the ipad, computers or television for the better part of the day.
I’m guilty of this just as much as the next person. As much as I have tried to resist the digital age, my children are somehow hard wired into computer devices. And, because digital devices are everywhere these days – video games, television, internet, iPads, cell phones, limiting their use can be difficult.
As hard as it is, in the back of my mind I know that all of these can have a negative impact on my children if I don’t stay on top of it. They have no idea how the internet can be dangerous, or how many hours spent in cyberspace can erode one’s understanding of the world.
My approach is a simple one, my kids are allowed 1 hour of media time when they get home; then its homework and chores. If they get those done, then they can have an extra 30-45 minutes after they take a bath and get ready for the next day of school. I know that’s more than most people suggest, but this is what works in my home. Further, no media devices are allowed at the table. That is the time to sit and talk as a family about our day. The same is true if we go out to eat.
I know the potential of my children and when their grades drop below a B, all media devices are suspended until further notice. Maybe I’m a hard ass, but their job is to learn, not play Mine Craft until the sun goes down. Just recently, my children have gotten into Farmville – we live on a farm! Do they want to help out with farm-related chores? Oh, no! They’d rather plant their cyber carrots than sow real seeds to produce food for the family.
How addicted to the internet is your family? Take this quiz!
The time has come to take a stand for our children’s future well-being. Teach them how to be responsible with devices, what the long term ramifications of are. If your children are young, for God’s sake, don’t give them an ipad or a cellphone to play games on; give them puzzles, blocks, play-doh and crayons! And, when they are at a young age, teach them about the dangers that lurk on the internet.
What tips can you provide parents on how to better supervise their children’s use of media devices?