Today’s Tech Ruins Childhood

Ray Bardo, Staff Writer

What’s the best way to raise children? Every generation of kids is different, which makes it that much more controversial. Sure, there are some similarities between a child and their parents’ childhood, but there are crucial differences. Sadly, those differences have become dangerous and are now negatively affecting Gen Z.

According to psychologist Peter Gray, the culture of childhood is being destroyed. A study that was done in 2019 and published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that “between 2009 and 2017, rates of depression rose by more than 60 percent among those ages 14 to 17, and 47 percent among those ages 12 to 13.” The question is: Why?

In an interview between Kim Brooks and the associate director Tavi Raviv, at the Center for Childhood Resilience, said that children today “have fewer opportunities to practice social-emotional skills, whether it’s because they live in a violent community where they can’t go outside, or whether it’s because there’s overprotection of kids and they don’t get the independence to walk down to the corner store.” They are lacking the skills needed to problem solve, make connections, communicate, and be independent.

But where could this be stemming from? It’s the result of the use of technology, not only on the children but parents’ side too. Parents are also victims of social media and what the internet has to offer. They are brainwashed from it as well as their kids. Since children are falling behind in these developmental skills, they “turn to screens because opportunities for real-life human interaction have vanished.” Their only way to really interact anymore is to be on social media. As Peter Gray indicated, “They create their own rules and culture and ways of being with others over the Internet.” It’s a double whammy.

Technology has hooked kids, no matter what brought them there. What’s scary is there’s no more individuality anymore. “A child’s tastes in clothes, music, manner of speech, hobbies, and almost everything else have much more to do with what other children,” and what they like. Kids are biologically set like that, so if they spend all their time on social media they will tend to want to be like everyone else.