There is something wonderful about seeing a parent model positive behaviors, passions or interests for their children. My grandfather was a woodworker in his spare time. He had a shop and a plethora of tools. My father and his brothers spent endless amounts of time admiring his work and when they became adults of their own they carried this passion into their own lives. As a mother there is something so wonderful about knowing that my daughter is watching me and giving me the opportunity to pass along my love for certain parts of life onto her. This morning I was listening to my daughter ask my husband to watch movie trailers on the iPad and had both a moment of cringe-worthiness as well as admiration. My husband is an engineer, he works in the Aerospace industry and is a lover of movies. Not just any movies; well crafted, brilliant, artistically beautiful movies. His mother and my daughter’s grandmother has this same passion for what we once called “film” and passed the passion along to my husband who is passing it along to our daughter. Three generations of film enthusiasts in the making. So why did I cringe? The image of technology in our modern day is something to wonder about. Technology is a topic I have written about before and studied while earning my graduate degree. It is a hot topic on the lips of many educated and socially aware members of our society. The question is; how much is too much? What other “hot topics” have carved out the historical significance of new technology in our society throughout history? I found this reference from History Today (Reading is bad for your Health, 1998, Porter)
“Above all, reading, as everyone knows, was murder on the eyes – Milton blamed it for his blindness, and Samuel Pepys too thought he was going the same way. '19 March 1668: So parted and I to bed, my eyes being very bad – and I know not how in the world to abstain from reading', he lamented to his soon-to-be-discontinued diary.”
So what if this trend of “too much” had continued and our love and admiration for books was prevented because of misinformed paranoia? Another article from the New York times ( When Novels were bad for you, 2014, North) outlines the incorrect conclusion that reading was a danger to young women because it would rotten or spoil the minds of impressionable girls.
“Novel reading for women was associated with inflaming of sexual passions; with liberal, radical ideas; with uppityness; with the attempt to overturn the status quo.”
While I am in complete agreement that technology and media in general are over exposing our children and even our adults to things that are unnecessary and potentially mind numbing I have to wonder; is technology a hobby that we should inflict on our children?