Technology and Us (and our kids)

By November 3, 2010 Parenting, Technology No Comments

The television. Also known as: the TV. Love it or hate it, the TV has been an influential force in the last hundred years. From its early, crude transmitted silhouette images, to black and white with no sound, and then eventually sound, and later into color and recently high definition sets that hang on the wall, the TV has radically impacted the transmission of information and entertainment. Only since the Internet has a technology had a remarkable impact on the advancement and development of technology.

But how to use such a technology wisely? With all the negative and disturbing images coming across the screen of a television, how do we as people (and parents) protect ourselves (and our kids) from “seeing” and “hearing” things that help or hurt us. This same question of wisdom can also be applied to the use of the Internet (or anything for that matter).

How do we use technology wisely? And particularly as a person who follows Jesus and wants to live out the kingdom of God in this world… what does it practically look like to use such resources wisely?

A recent post @ Engadget revealed that kids watch too much TV (shocker, I know!). What is it about TV and technology that seems to enable parents to use it to “babysit” their children. I know for me, it is “easier” to parent when my kids are watching a movie in the other room. Even with other “screens” available (i.e. iPod Touches, iPads, iPhones, Blackberrys, tablets, laptops, advertisement screens at Walmart next to displays, etc.), we (and my kids) are bombarded with technology and information.

I’m not saying technology is bad or inherently evil. It isn’t. It’s how we use them, how we implicitly regulate them, that makes its use good or bad.

So, how do we wisely use technology?

I wonder if the answer to that question lies in what each person thinks about the use of free time or the attention (or inattention) to human interaction (going out with friends, spending face-to-face time with your kids, etc.). And maybe moderation. I’m reminded that with anything, be it food, sports, drinks, video games, or gardening, one can go to the extreme of spending all of their time (free or borrowed) on things that throw every other thing in their life off balance. The opposite of moderation would be excessiveness.

So, what is excessive when it comes to technology (or anything else for that matter)?