You’ve seen it… a family sits down to eat dinner together. There’s the dad, the mom, and the children. But right from the moment they sit down, there’s no interaction between any of them.
They’re sitting there quietly, almost as if there’s nobody else at the table.
Sometimes they’re eating their food, sometimes their food is getting cold or warm. If you didn’t know any better, they might as well be a bunch of strangers who just happened to sit at the same table, without ever having met each other.
What, exactly, is going on here?
They’re all busy playing with their smartphone, tablet device, or even their laptop computer.
Hi-Tech Devices: Everyone’s New Best Friend
You could argue that the proliferation of internet access might be one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of mankind. Suddenly, people of all ages had instant access to vasts amounts of information, and could easily communicate with different people all over the world. In other words, it allowed us to connect to a whole new world of possibilities, outside of our day-to-day lives.
Because of the endless possibilities presented by the internet, it enabled people to begin spending endless amounts of time exploring these new possibilities. Instead of coming home from school and playing outside with their friends, kids could hop onto computer games or log in to chat rooms, and interact with their real-life or virtual friends that way.
Instead of couples or parents interacting each other when they get home from work, they often bring their work home with them, spending the same amount of time on the computer at home as they did at work.
Plus, in today’s age, it’s much more than personal and laptop computers.
Virtually every household has at least one smartphone and one tablet device these days, making access to the internet totally portable, and available anytime, anywhere.
All Computers And No Conversation
The idea of people spending more time in the VR instead of in the real world can have very dire consequences. More and more families are broken up each year because of extramarital affairs by a parent who met someone through the internet. Parents have less and less influence over their children, because the latter spend more time holed up in their room and on the computer, interacting with like-minded people they’ve met online.
But even on a day-to-day basis, our prolonged interaction through technology begins to hinder our ability to communicate in real life.
Parents are now resigned to letting wireless devices and computers entertain and raise their children.
Adults are losing their ability to effectively communicate and interact with each other in a real life setting, because of how much more time they spend interacting with each other using technology.
Kids never really develop the skills to interact, work, and thrive in a team-based environment, as so much of their lives revolve around virtual interaction. While adults can still remember a world where they could interact with each other without the use of technology, kids these days won’t know such a world, and will face the consequences when they try to find work as adults themselves.
Family Time Has To Come First
Because of this growing trend, there are many families who have instituted various “house rules” around technology use. Their children are limited to only certain amounts of time, when it comes to using the computer for recreational purposes. Kids have to be old enough to pay for their own smartphone, whether it’s through their allowance, or an after school job. Families have banned smartphones and tablet computers from the dinner table, ensuring there is at least one time of day where they all sit down and interact with each other.
These might seem like minor things, but each of these small things add up to one grand idea: technology shouldn’t be everyone’s primary source of interaction.