Technology is a tool that is meant to be used, not abused. Studies show that reliance on technology can mimic addictions to more serious substances. Yet, technological literacy has become a fixture of modern society- all students are required to research, study, write papers, and, eventually, write e-mails, use word processors and spreadsheets, and even search for employment and housing.
What is our role, as parents, guardians, and educators, in preparing students for the requirements of modern society, while also equipping them with timeless truths? Below are helpful three tips for teaching time management with technology.
Keep technology fixed in one place
This may seem obvious, but the mobility guaranteed by technology can actually create more temptations. Just 20 years ago, phones and computers were fixed in one part of the workplace, school, or home. Now, laptops and mobile phones travel everywhere with us. The easily accessibility is almost too easy, and can lead to mindless scrolling or down the black hole of inane entertainment.
Do a Tech Fast as a Family
Like most things, technology is best put to use when it is appreciated. While it seems trendy to be constantly ‘plugged in,’ the key to life is actually being present to live it. Civilizations flourished for thousands of years before the iPhone. A family in 2018 can survive one week without their devices. When you have finished the fast, reflect on what it meant for your family, and how you could implement smaller “fasts” each week.
Practice What You Preach
Obviously it’s hypocritical to preach technological abstinence if you yourself don’t practice it. Children learn through imitation. Therefore, they will emulate our habits, good and bad. As with most things, the key to this is in balance-- use technology when it is warranted, but also rake leaves for an elderly neighbor, ride bikes to a friend’s house, learn how to cook a new and interesting dish, build a first-class obstacle course for your dog, or pick up the new hit series from the library.
Your children may be surprised at just how much there is to see, do, and think in this wonderful world when they are not looking at a screen.