You all know I'm down with technology (more than some of you would like, I'm sure!) but I think there are so many tools that have so much potential to make the library ubiquitous and accessible to all. But balance is important. Last month, NYTimes published a great article: Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction. GREAT article and a must-read for any librarian serving kids (which means, read it! It's good! There's also a 7-minute video that's worth watching!) There's a great (or not so great) quote in the article by one of the kids they interviewed that has stuck with me:
you can get a whole story in six minutes, he explains. A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.So that's pretty disturbing, right? While the article does make quite a case for the fact that technology (or I would argue, our relationship with technology) is changing our brains, it also offers encouraging advice for parents (and librarians.) Like encouraging kids/teens to have downtime (meaning no technology toys/tools.) I know in my own house with a husband who is 10 Xs more into technology than me, we have to plan technology-free days. And boy are they rewarding and lovely. I've often thought (even before all this technology reached kids) that just regular playtime seemed a thing of the past. I have so many memories of creative things we did out of sheer boredom. I don't think kids get bored much anymore. They just check-out on Facebook or YouTube.
But there is hope! As usual - parents can play an important role in all of this. Limiting time with technology for sure and creating or allowing for some unscheduled space in a child's schedule where technology isn't an option. Maybe cities should start imposing black-outs so we all take a few minutes to look away from the screen.