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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Plugged In Youth

Option #3


Although the story The Veldt, by Ray Bradbury is science fiction, it still touches on a very real modern day problem that is occurring with children today. Parents are increasingly concerned with their children’s attachment to technology.  Things like cell phones, social media, video games, and computers consume kid’s lives and have become a huge part of their generation. The Veldt is a futuristic setting about a family with two kids that are tremendously attached to their home’s technologies. Everyday tasks such as washing yourself or brushing your teeth, which seem so mindless, have become even more mindless because of the advancements of technology. The children of The Veldt, Wendy and Peter, have become completely reliant on their machines to do absolutely everything for them.  When Peter’s father, George, talks about unplugging their home, Peter has a strong reaction. Peter says, “That sounds dreadful! Would I have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it? And brush my own teeth and comb my hair and give myself a bath? …I don’t want to do anything but look and listen and smell, what else is there to do” (Bradbury 272). These children have become lazy, mindless zombies that don’t engage the world around them.

Doctor Jim Taylor dives into this concept in his article, “Is Technology Making Your Children Mindless Instead of Mindful?” George and his wife, Lydia, are unlike any other parent who wants to care for their kids and give them as many experiences as they can. Many parents today do the same thing for their children, not realizing that “this constant intense brain activity takes its toll, both physically and psychologically, on children” (Taylor par. 7). It is vital to remember the importance of human interaction for a developing child, and learning the ability to focus the brain and relax, especially in this chaotic world in which we live. What George and Lydia are doing for their kids, by providing them with a mindless lifestyle, has badly hindered their growth.  Doctor Taylor mentions, “not only does technology appear to interfere with your children experiencing happiness, but, even worse, in their always-connected, constantly distracted lives, children may not learn what real happiness is and where it comes from” (par. 12). In the end, this information overload that is provided for the modern-day child is truly a disservice. Moderation is always important in maintaining a balanced life, and can be even more crucial for an evolving mind.

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