Will the next app be a “Good Parenting” app? Children need to learn valuable interpersonal skills from their parents, not from a computer. I can’t imagine a future were people lack the skills to deal with each other face to face, but we need to recognize that we’re now embracing that future. I saw an interesting piece on the evening news last week regarding a retired dance instructor, who is working with kids in an inner city school, teaching them to dance “ballroom” style, face to face. The kids admit it was very awkward at first, but they’ve grown to enjoy dealing with their peers in this manner. People are real, but the new games available on these devices appear very realistic and that will only improve as we move forward.
Kids are sponges and they’ll get lost in the computer screen if they see parents constantly watching their smart devices when they should be educating their offspring. If personal interaction and dealing with differing opinions is not a learned skill when one is young we may find a generation or two who will be unable to deal with people who they find more difficult to control than their mobile device. Now I must admit, I too am a smart phone user and while I find it a useful tool, I can understand how it can be an addictive habit. At business meetings or luncheons nearly everyone, as soon as they are seated, will pull out a mobile device and set it on the table. What’s’ worse is you’ll go out in the evening for dinner with the wife and see couples not conversing with each other but both looking longingly into their device screen, thumbing away, perhaps even to each other.
I’m all for advancing technology, but I’m just not certain we aren’t on the slippery slope with cute little devices.
Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.