We have had lotsa great and ongoing conversations in this forum about Parenting and Kids at school, etc… but all of these topics were exclusively, 100%, from the parent’s perspective. What do our kids think of all of this? What is their take on these issues?
The debates and activism on gun regulation in the USA has proven that our media-savvy kids are much more intelligent and effective than we give them credit for.
As adults we always supposedly know what’s best for our kids. But its us - the adult boys and girls - who have created the awful problems they are facing in their future. We have essentially screwed up! Now its time they also have their rightful say in matters, and we owe it to them to listen carefully!
Remember: Kids are wise in some ways we are not / no longer, and are still largely unspoilt by most human flaws
I just read this Guardian article on things that make children (in Britain) unhappy, social media being among them:
I encourage you to read the comments section, as there are many great entries that align with discussions that are in this forum, and some good tips as well.
Now, while young adults can just become regular members of this community (and I think that having a lot of them joining would be splendid), the subject matter becomes less appropriate the younger people get. Let alone too boring
The CHT for Kids
So what do you think about having a Center for Humane Technology targeted to young children, where qualified members of this community prepare the content and make it an appealing and engaging experience?
This content should be hosted on a separate website section or at a different domain name altogether, and can be offered to children by parents and school teachers all around the world, who guide them through it.
The insights thus collected could be really invaluable!
I am 24 years old, so I guess I qualify as a “young person” by your description although I do not consider myself a digital native - I got my first cell phone around age 11, and it was a Nokia brick phone - nothing like what kids deal with today.
One thing I have strongly considered is a sort of online literary magazine/journal which publishes writing by post-millennial teenagers about topics related to humane technology/social media. It would connect with them through their teachers in the form of essay/short story contests and be published online quarterly. If anyone is interested in this idea please let me know because I would love to work on it.
I think a youth-focused campaign should be an essential part of humane tech moving forward, because this issue in particular impacts young people so disproportionately. Many of the adults, even millennials like myself, who are interested in these issues never experienced a childhood where the mobile internet is an integral part of daily life. In many ways, the post-millennial generation of “digital natives” will have much more insight to the problems of social media and the mobile internet than the generation who created it. Giving them a voice to directly relate their experiences could be a powerful tool in the fight for humane technology.
Haha, I agree my age range is ridiculous… I just took it from the article Also I probably shouldn’t use the term ‘youngster’ which was used in a number of topics… may sound terribly old-fashioned (I am a non-native English speaker).
Meant no offense @afuchs, will edit, though I envy your youth, haha… I’m 45
I was joking! although that kind of humor doesn’t come across well online.
In seriousness, your post has really got me thinking about this. Again, if anyone has any interest in discussing the possibility of starting an online lit mag/journal geared towards teenagers/children, please send me a pm!
I applaud the idea of adapting CHT content to younger audiences. My company can support this initiative since we are in this space.
First, we need to think about the huge digital behavior differences between age ranges: toddlers, children, pre-teen, teen and young adults. Especially if we consider that many young adults such as afuchs are not digital natives unlike teenagers and younger kids. We should tailor the message for each one of the age groups.
Also, let’s not forget that our brain frontal cortex is fully developed around 25, so younger people are much more prone to be addicted to technology. In other words, if I let my kids decide, they would spend their whole days watching what they call “satisfying” videos on Youtube! And we know what can go wrong with that, right?
My last comment is about the survey The Guardian did. I’m not sure I’d consider it with scientific relevancy. I believe they were well-intentioned, but we should be careful to draw conclusions based on a “call-out”.
Anyway, I’m down to discuss ways to effectively do something about protecting kids. I founded a company around this ideal after all.
Such an important observation @aschrijver - as adults we definitely have the responsibility to make the big decisions for children, but we shouldn’t be leaving them out of the conversation.
I have recently read a few interesting articles about this topic as well: a New York Times one that views technology as having helped the generation born around the year 2000 become much more intelligent than we give it credit for, and a Greater Good Science Center one that reports American college students as having a complicated love/hate relationship with their devices.
While I feel very strongly about educating parents and teachers about the psycho-emotional effects of technology, my view is that we should also speak directly to the children. Some of the research coming out (some of it shared by Common Sense Media) does indicate that kids want our help in curbing their tech usage. Going straight into schools and organizing workshops for kids of all ages may be one really effective way of doing this.
I believe that talk to children is important, but as Simon Sinek’s famous video from 2016, letting kids use social media and games without supervision is the same as opening the cabinet with alcohol and invite them to drink as much as they want.
In my view, yes. we should talk to children and explain the consequences of excessive digital consumption. But we need to set controls, because if we let children unattended, they will not going to be able to resist the temptations that were designed purposefully to addict and release bursts of dopamine into our brains.
I totally agree here on how the generation who created the technology doesn’t experience the harmful effects the same way as the kids who grew up on it.
In a cooperative effort collaborating the ideas of digital natives and creators might find great insight. We need to prop up this younger generation and listen and learn. It doesn’t mean we don’t guide and give wisdom. Some of these kids missed important periods of development and they are smart enough to recognize it!!
Love this. At the very least having a section of the community where kids can voice their opinions.
I just got asked this question by a reporter and would love kids’ perspective:
“When parents try to limit their kids’ smartphone use, it can be stressful if the child is resistant/argumentative. What tips do you have for parents to best keep their stress levels down while talking to their child? Is there an effective way you’ve discovered that works to get the message across while at the same time a parent can keep his or her cool?”
Hi! I am actually a 15 year old, and I just find the concept of CHT extremely fascinating, and I think my interest and my experiences are largely shaped by being of the digital native generation.
I am also a huge believer in youth voice and having youth perspective being involved in the decision making that will affect us, because young people do care about these kind of things a lot more than one might expect. While I like the idea of a CHT for kids, I think there is a lot of work to make the concept accesible and appealing to younger kids, because there is a lot of understanding that it takes to understand the ways technology is really influencing us. What would the age range be for this kind of site that you’re envisioning?
I think continuing and pushing for more dialogue across generations is the best way to move forward, especially because a lot of young people are quite aware, more aware than you might expect, of the influences of technology, even if we continue to use it excessively.
As a 15 year old, I feel like I can give you a little bit of my perspective on this. I feel like all kids are very different when it comes to this, and it really is shaped by their specific experiences, so I couldn’t tell you one answer or one way that works to send a message. It also depends a lot from person to person and to see what their relationships are with the parents. Even in my family, I have a very different response to things than my brother, who is a few years younger. It is always hard to accept something that a parent says, especially because we know that it is probably true and they are probably right, but it feels easier to stay stubborn and hold our ground. This probably doesn’t answer the question too accurately, but those are just some of my thoughts.
Hi @ananyasingh! It is great to see you here, and I warmly welcome you to our community
This is so true, so important, and also the involvement of youth in these issues is higher than many grown-ups give them credit for, I’ve noticed.
I agree that having a CHT for Kids comes with a lot of work and thinking, but that fact that this is the case already make it a worthwhile effort. It highlights the fact that there is much to know still in finding the best approaches.
I am not the expert, but I think we should have content sections targeted to different age ranges. For the younger children (below the ‘smartphone age’) we could develop programs where they engage with the help of a parent or teacher, who guides them through. This will be mostly on awareness… how does technology use affect your life and developing healthy habits. I imagine this to be more passive, informative, where the grown-up collects insights for the community.
At the start of the smartphone age and onwards, say between 8-14 years, more active involvement would be great, where children provide their own input and insights, in their own words. The content should be interesting and fun enough to stimulate this, cutting out the dry stuff, and information that is inappropriate at this age (and here I mean the more disturbing aspects of tech, or the more cynical views of many grown-ups, that though they may come from experience and wisdom, one wouldn’t expose children to).
Quite true! From your age group you could be a full participant - especially if you are already interested in the subject matter, like you. But still there may be a need to separate the raw scientific and purely political topics to separate sections from the body of community work (in which you may participate, of course, but which could be a barrier for more young people to engage).
I agree here- I hope this doesn’t sound sarcastic, it’s a logistical mention- One important thing is when I’m around younger generation like teens and 20’s is they are often on their phones so those chance connections are lost.
It is very nice to hear you on this forum- you are brilliantly aware. I hope I learn how to more deeply connect with your generation in person. If you have any practical ideas let us know- you and your peers may be THE most important key to decoding and unraveling what technology has done.