Technology need not be our enemy as long as we keep our focus on these goals. Our job now is to fit technology into our parenting and not vice versa.
So let’s please shift the debate and focus on what we want for ourselves and our families and to ways to exploit our brilliant new tools to accomplish this precious task. Let’s stop debating how many angels can text on a pinhead, and let’s use technologies as opportunities to promote the development of social brains (after all, that is why it evolved in the first place) from infancy through adulthood. The rest is commentary. Please, let’s chill and go back to basics.
Good news: Technological innovators bless us almost daily with brilliant tools, challenging our best thinkers to anticipate their impacts on mankind; neuroscience now illuminates how we input and process information.
As a child psychiatrist, an actual “applied neuroscience engineer” for almost forty years, I believe that we need more discussion of technology’s impact on family life and child development, which (bad news) seem to be suffering now. To get wired correctly, babies need fully present face to face caretakers giving them full loving attention; kids do need unscheduled undistracted quiet time to learn to reflect and face to face peer contact to become fully human. We can definitely anticipate that “good enough mothering” (Winnecott) by a fully present parent or grandparent will give our youngsters the best start.
Parents need practical help. Let’s make technology work for us. Let’s organize and manage our children’s media lives. Please, let’s stop debating about how many angels can text on a pinhead, and begin debating how technology can best promote the social brain.