Times have changed

On the news this morning, a commentator was decrying children’s overuse of computers, television, and all manner of electronic devices.

The concern was brought on by a new study out from Common Sense Media. Here are some numbers for you:

  • 72% of kids have used mobile devices
  • 38% of children under 2 have used a mobile device
  • Children’s average daily use of mobile devices has tripled since 2011, and is now at 15 minutes per day

Now, if I were a parent, I might indeed find this concerning. I’d probably appreciate the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new guide on how to create a family media plan. Most families, it would seem, believe children should have rules. So whether it’s a curfew or a media plan you’re into, I am not here to judge.

But, I would say, the world is not ending.

At least not because of this.

Hearing the commentator talk about how things were “back in his day,” only makes me roll my eyes. Whenever anyone complains about how society is rotting and how modernity has sucked all sense of humanity from us, all I can think is:

In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking.
But now, God knows,
Anything goes.
Good authors too who once knew better words
Now only use four-letter words
Writing prose.
Anything goes.

The world has gone mad today
And good’s bad today,
And black’s white today,
And day’s night today…

Written almost 80 years ago by Cole Porter, those lyrics are from, you guessed it, Anything Goes.

To be fair, there are plenty of people who think society’s been rotting for more than 80 years. Many theorists trace the curse of modernity back to the Enlightenment or thereabouts. When science made us lose our souls.

But that is a subject for another day.

The point, today, is this: create whatever guidelines work for you and your family, but blustering about how technology is draining our children’s brains does nothing. I have survived radio, television and video games and no doubt plenty of others have emerged unscathed as well.

Calm down and buck up. I think we’re going to make it.

It is a shame, though – back in my day, the world was perfect.


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