Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tween New Year's Resolution: Unplug

Facebook and texting are now part of life for most tweens - whether or not they have a Facebook profile or a mobile phone, these technologies play a growing role in the social culture of tweens throughout the U.S. We're always vigilant about how much and when our tweens use technology, but in general, we all could "unplug" a bit more. This year, we've made that resolution as entire family.

An article in the New York Times last fall titled "Growing Up Digital: Wired for Distraction" provided some context for our resolution - it tells a cautionary tale of tweens and digital overload:
  • On YouTube: “You can get a whole story in six minutes,” explains a high school junior. “A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.” 
  • "The technology has created on campuses a new set of social types — not the thespian and the jock but the texter and gamer, Facebook addict and YouTube potato."
  • “If someone tells you about a drama going on with someone,” 14-year old Allison says. “I can text one person while talking on the phone to someone else.” 
  • “I’ll be reading a book for homework, and I’ll get a text message and pause my reading and put down the book, pick up the phone to reply to the text message, and then 20 minutes later realize, ‘Oh, I forgot to do my homework.’ ” 
We thought the article was a useful reminder of the academic dangers of being too plugged in - let us know what you think.

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