In today's Digital Pragmatism podcast, we discussed an intriguing question: can digital minimalist parents raise technologically backward children? As parents navigating the digital age, we often find ourselves grappling with this question, trying to strike a balance between embracing technology and shielding our children from its potential harms.
We began by talking about the prevalence of smartphones among children and how they have become the default choice for many parents. This is not necessarily due to a well-thought-out decision, but rather because it is what everyone else seems to be doing. However, we believe that in the next decade, this norm may change as more parents become aware of the consequences of giving unlimited access to technology to their children.
We compared the current state of smartphones to the past restrictions on alcohol and cigarettes, suggesting that there may come a tipping point when the dangers of excessive smartphone usage become more widely acknowledged. In the future, it may be considered irresponsible to give a smartphone to a child, just as it is currently frowned upon to provide alcohol or cigarettes to minors.
However, our discussion did not imply that we should entirely avoid technology for our children. Instead, we emphasized the importance of using technology intentionally and as a tool. For example, we can teach our children to use the internet for research, graphic design programs for creativity, or music applications for self-expression. The key is to differentiate between technology that serves as a helpful tool and technology that is designed to exploit and addict users.