People see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe.
My preschooler’s teacher said the four letters that no parent wants to hear: ADHD.
“He’s four.” My quick reply exposes my feelings on the matter.
She agrees that it’s too early to tell, but wants my wife and I to be aware.
This awareness has morphed into a rabbit-hole of research, including the effects of technology and media consumption on young brains.
Carr’s third chapter of The Shallows explores the evolution of human abstract thinking and its harmful intersection with media consumption. The general stages of child cognitive development is illustrated (no pun intended) in how a child draws a picture of their physical surroundings: “…we progress from drawing what we see to drawing what we know.”
Carr believes that constant exposure to realized imagery and turnkey artistic expression interrupts this development. ABC News’ story aligns with Carr on a number of levels.
I’m not convinced. The experiment where kids’ communication is observed with/without media devices seems superficial. When a child is using a tablet, their observed communication with others is decreased, and without, it increases. Of course that’s the result. Today’s form of media consumption is designed for the user to be in the driver’s seat.
Before we see hard evidence and research on how little brains are impacted by long-term exposure to technology and media devices, I know that my question as a parent should be, how do I encourage healthy consumption habits and make communication happen?