After participating in my classmate’s debate on whether social media is ruining childhood, it has made me think about whether this decision is up to us at all. When our generation was young, our parents criticized us as well, talking about how easy we had it compared to them and resorting to phrases like “kids these days,” and our parents parents probably said the same thing about them. Despite this though, our parents turned out okay, and we turned out okay, and our children and students will likely turn out okay as well. As pointed out in Brittnee’s article “We Have Ruined Childhood,” Their path will be different, yes. However, that doesn’t mean for a fact that their childhood is “ruined,” and it is not up to us to decide. Everyone will find their own way in life eventually, and we have to let them live it and make mistakes in order to grow. We live in a world of constant judgement where we naturally compare society to how it once was, even though we cannot live in the past. Similar to one of my arguments in my debate on how technology enhances learning, we need to embrace change and do our best to find the positives in what we have.
Currently, we are in a very uncertain and scary time with the global pandemic of Covid19. Now more than ever, we are seeing the benefits of technology, as it is now our only way to stay connected to our friends, family, and outside world. Personally, I never thought I would experience something so historical and life-altering, and it has been very difficult to handle mentally and physically. I, like so many others, now rely on technology and social media to keep me sane and help me feel as though I am not alone. As Dallin pointed out in his argument, as well in the article “Impact of Social Media on Children,” there are many positive benefits that come with using social media. For example, if social media provides children with a sense of belonging, why diminish it for having some negative effects (since mostly everything has negatives if we look closely enough!)
On the other hand, it is easy for us to feel the need to interfere in the lives of the young generation, maybe to help them avoid the regrets that we made. And maybe that’s okay, too, to a certain extent. For example, it’s okay to limit technology use to ensure students are getting their homework done, or are able to bond with their family. It’s okay to say “no phones at the dinner table” or to ensure that children are aware of the dangerous elements that social media can bring before they are allowed an account. Just because we have to “let them live” doesn’t mean we can’t guide young learners and be a support when they need us most.
Life is unpredictable. It changes, it develops, and we need to change with it. We need to adapt and look for light in a dark tunnel. Right now, our world is changing more than ever. What we once thought of as “childhood” does not end, it changes. Some think this is a good thing and some think it is bad. Me? I can’t wait to see this generation grow up to see the life that they make with our current reality.