Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Electronic addict

01 February 2009
Cogito, DCHerald

ATTENTION PARENTS: If you notice that your adolescent son or daughter locks himself or herself in his or her room, or spends a lot of time in an internet café nearby, or wears headphones all day, or worst, with both thumbs swollen, no doubt, he or she is an electronic addict.

It is not difficult to detect these symptoms among young people nowadays. But in saying so, I don’t exclude the possibility that the not-so-young sector may also be affected by this modern phenomenon called electronic addiction. We shall leave it to the experts in statistics to provide us with concrete data as to what electronic device is most commonly used among young boys or girls, or how much time they spend in videogames and internet café. These data – very informative as they are – tend to provide us only with a general picture, but do not necessarily evoke in us a strong desire to examine our own home and find out if we are already invaded by this cyber-virus.

Parents should start observing the signs. And if symptoms persist, consult the experts.

* * *

At what time your son or daughter usually returns home at night? Do you know where they hang out? Did you check it out if they were really doing their group project in their classmates’ residence, as they told you?

It is not sowing distrust among parents towards their children. But I think, one of the factors why a lot of young people are addicted to videogames and internet that they abound the net cafés along Ilustre and Duterte streets even up to 4:00 in the morning, is the insufficiency of parental guidance.

For families and parents who have internet connections at home or videogames, how much time do your children spent in front of the computer? Do you keep track if they are really reviewing their lessons at night, or are they just busy chatting or texting their friends? After all, for just 15 or 20 pesos, they can have free texting all day.

* * *

The assistant director of the Multimedia and Communication Laboratory and a professor in Informatics of the University of Navarra, Charo Sádaba, was once interviewed by Mundo Cristiano, a Catholic family magazine on this topic. One question was: “what attracts young people into electronics? Is it true that young people today are radically different from those of some few years ago?”

“There are various motives that could explain such attraction,” she said. “In the first place, these media are interactive, not lineal, and it is something that attracts the youth who feel at ease with a message that is not imposed on them, but something that they have to respond to.

“Besides, these are means of socialization, which is a vital axis in the adolescent stage. And they could reinforce their social connections in a more enjoyable way. Lastly, the youth are aware that the use of modern technology reaffirms the technological gap they have with the adults: in various cases, children know better about technology than their parents at home, and this is very attractive for them.”

* * *

“The principal risk,” according to Sádaba, “is that young people would believe that technology could be a guide to conduct one’s life and forget that it is just an instrument.”

I think, this is something that parents should consider seriously nowadays as they try to comply their already-difficult task of parenting. It is not a matter of creating panic or spreading fear among parents. According to our expert, we could still draw out something good from this phenomenon. Here are some simple tips for parents on how to confront the issue:

(1) Understand the usefulness and the attractiveness of technology on the part of your children. (2) Offer them other equally interesting and educative alternatives as occasions for them to disconnect from electronics: family excursions or games, etc. (3) Take advantage of the positive use of internet when it is done moderately; and (4) Argue not about technology (they know better) but about what is fundamental in life (life’s vital experience and what gives real meaning to life).
All I can say is: “Parents, befriend your children.”

1 comment:

Rackmount LCD said...

Todays lot of people are suffering with this addict mostly children are adopting this addict.

"Sacerdotes, 'consagrados en la Verdad'"

Estar inmersos en la Verdad, en Cristo, de este proceso forma parte
la oración, en la que nos ejercitamos en la amistad con Él y aprendemos a
conocerle: su forma de ser, de pensar, de actuar. Rezar es un caminar en
comunión personal con Cristo, exponiendo ante Él nuestra vida cotidiana,
nuestros logros y nuestros fracasos, nuestras fatigas y nuestras alegrías -es un
simple presentarnos a nosotros mismos ante Él. Pero para que esto no se
convierta en un autocontemplarse, es importante que aprendamos continuamente a
rezar rezando con la Iglesia.