As technology advances, needs are simultaneously met and created. Define technology: applied science (Merrian-Webster). Define science: a branch of study concerned with the observation and the clarifying of facts.
Crows build levers with stones and sticks. Monkeys use rocks to crack fruit. With the right tools, one can get from point A to point B, from want to attainment. Tools allow us to build, and as we build we discover other tools to accommodate tasks that are more complex.
Today we face an age of technology indulgence. The constant turning to Personal devices such as Smart Phones and iPads for gratification creates a bottomless dependency on usage, or addiction. Yesterday, at the nail salon, a little girl was getting a pedicure. Her mother sat not far away. She asked her mother for her iPad. “I’m sorry,” said the mother. “I left it at home.” “I need it though,” said the little girl, who was at most six years old. “I like playing it. It makes me relax.” The mother procured her iPhone, which she gave to the little girl, so she could play a game.
Why did the mother give her child the iPhone? Mindless action breeds ignorance. The mother did not realize that, by giving her daughter a “substitute” for the iPad as opposed an alternative, she is saying it’s OK to depend on an object for gratification. Sense gratification perpetuates suffering. That’s no easy lesson to teach a child, and I don’t condone denying a child of something that he or she so desires. However, if a child wants to indulge in hours watching TV up-close, or gorge on a large bag of sweets, would you permit her? Better yet, would you provide her the means to do so? If a parent does not teach his child by example–for he is the child’s first role model–how to manage and control anxiety rather than band-aid it with a screen (or candy), then the child will have a difficult time forming new, healthier habits as she grows and enters a world where distraction is valued over quiet time to the self.
Please don’t set your child up for a future of silent dinners in the glow of “Smart” devices. Teach her to communicate. Conversation is a gateway to the path of truth and self-knowledge. Knowledge is Liberation. Ignorance is Bondage.