By: Bria Wannamaker
It’s not your kid’s fault that they are addicted to technology. Stop getting mad at your children whose developing brains are becoming dependent on technology. We are a product of the environment in which we live. Generation Alpha (2010 – 2025) is really struggling right now. Let’s briefly chat about this growing epidemic…
Here are some questions that I have about this. In a world where there is so much to explore why do we seek only to escape? Why do we actively choose to not participate in our lives?
Our addiction to technology is not only a tragedy but also, our nervous systems are so dysregulated that we physically feel the need to disconnect from reality in order to level our our neurochemical physiology.
What happens when we remove the crutch? The oxygen? What happens when we trade iPads for independence? Minecraft for milestones? Fortnite for building forts? Tik Tok for time with friends? Roblox for relaxation? VR headsets for volunteering in the community? Snapchat for social time in person? Gaming for time with grandparents?
Call me old school, but I’m wondering; can we even exist without a device in hand?
Because right now, we are trading curiosity for callousness. Construction for destruction. Trading years of childhood real life trial and error for a moment of digitally induced dopamine. We are trading our purpose, our time, our energy, our lifeforce, our engagement with the outside world, for electronics.
I don’t know about you, but my favourite memories from my own childhood are of playing Barbies with my mom, she would build the most incredible homes out of tissues boxes and other things around the house. This sparked creativity and innovation. I loved choreographing dance performances with my cousin. Going for walks to the corner store with my group of friends. Going for evening walks with my mom when there was a heavy snowfall and it gets so quiet, still and calm outside. I loved going to the thrift store and buying old pants and sewing denim purses together. These are my most favourite memories. I had a Nintendo DS at one point, and iPod, an MP3 player, a Sony walkman (wow I’m old), I eventually got a cellphone. Were these my fondest memories? No, they were a blip, almost unimportant. Sure I learned some tech skills, but in the grand scheme of my experience here on earth, was the technology life changing? Hell no.
We weren’t designed for this. We are designed for seeking reward through play and learning. Moving our bodies, connecting with others, acquiring new skills. Growth, love, connection, freedom. Part of existing in this world involves not only being able to connect to others, but also to be able to connect to our own self, our own intuition. How can we learn to make decisions if we can’t even hear ourselves think? How do we even know what we’re feeling when on your gaming headset all you hear is joe5647 from Nashville swearing and complaining?
Now, I’m not against technology, like anything, it serves it’s purpose. It’s about finding that balance, setting boundaries, creating a sense of peace and homeostasis. Incorporating technology into your life as an extra, a privilege, a luxury. Not like a drug, a source of happiness, a necessity.
You have the power to articulate. To create. To innovate. You can change your state. You can regulate. It’s up to your to participate. Balance will look different for everyone. Sometimes we just need a disruption, a tipping point, the edge of discomfort to recognize that it’s time to take action and shift things to promote our wellbeing.