Studies conducted in different countries show dependency on smartphones is growing.
France recently banned the use of smartphones in schools. The decision was made out of concern that students were becoming addicted to mobile-phone use.
Will such restrictive moves solve the problem?
Or, do we need to look deeper in order to deal with the challenges of a cyber-generation?
While the fact that youth is becoming more and more dependent on technology is practically undisputable, it is equally important to face adult addiction to cell-phones and its impact on the behavior of their children and society. A new study conducted in Great Britain reveals a dramatic increase in addiction to technology.
The average person in that country checks a mobile phone every 12 minutes, while one-in-five adults spend more than 40 hours per week online.
If that is the model children are following, how can we complain about their habits if we do not practice what we preach? One of the leading health service providers in Israel recently did an interesting research on parents’ behavior while waiting for, and during, the treatment of their children in the pediatric unit. The result was that 83 percent of the parents were glued to their mobile-phones during the medical visit.
Unsurprisingly, the conclusions recommended parents to turn off their technical appliances in order to spend time with their children.
Also, in America, nearly nine-in-ten people today are online.
Can we ultimately sail against the wind of technological progress?
Or, is it an unstoppable consequence of natural human development?
It's an undeniable fact that the younger generation has been shaped by the smartphone and by the rise of social media. It's an integral part of their existence from a very early age.
As part of their environment, they are bound to adapt to new technology and embrace it as a natural element of their upbringing, feeling completely comfortable and fearless about experimenting with new devices, games, and platforms.
We have not created this desire by ourselves, it's part of nature’s development.
Parents who are themselves addicted to mobile phones cannot blame their children for an excessive use of smartphones or their consequential behavioral problems. Children take the example from us. How then can we complain about their habits?
Our egoistic nature increasingly grows, leading us to be increasingly involved and concerned with ourselves, even at the expense of others, and also even if those others are in our own family.
The amount of face-to-face interaction lessens the more we expand our time online, so how can we expect good communication with our children if we are not ready to give up our compulsive use of electronic devices?
If we were to take away both our own as well as our children’s smartphones in order to improve the communication between us, then would we be "in their shoes," to understand and fulfill their needs and desires? If we hesitate, even for a fleeting moment, then maybe it would be better if at least we stick to our devices together, in a common place, instead of being totally separated?
We cannot reject change because it will happen anyway.
Wishing to bring back the past is tantamount to yearning to revive the stone age.
Children have grown up with computers and the Internet in schools and at home, they find everything online, music streaming, video-sharing, what to buy, what to wear, where to go, what to do and who to hang out with (virtually, of course.) Technology is to them almost as an extension of their bodies.
Outdoor ventures either in urban or natural sights aren’t as attractive as they used to be. They have been replaced by online activities. If young people go out, then more often it will be to a place where they will be surrounded by others who are immersed in their own digital world.
Our world is experiencing a profound transformation, opening up to a more spiritual and integral reality. Young people are the first ones to embrace changes since they are instinctively always looking for new paths and alternatives. Every new advance is a step forward for them, a natural process even if they are not fully aware of how it happens.
Understanding and implementing this new era requires a restart button that will allow us to use technology and take it one step further, for the sake of true connection, solidarity and care for others.
How can this be accomplished? It can be accomplished by adapting ourselves not only to technological advances but to a renewed era. We now have all the means in our hands to transform the society from chaos to harmony. By using technology in order to benefit and strengthen human relations, we can serve this purpose.
Such a fundamental change can be possible by creating meaningful content to teach both adults and children about how nature and humanity develops, explaining how nature is guiding the world to a state of balance, and how to improve our communication for more balanced and harmonious relations within society.
Michael Laitman is a global thinker living in Israel. He has a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah and an MS in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. He is a prolific writer who has published over 40 books, which have been translated into dozens of languages. He is a sought-after speaker and has written for or been interviewed by The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post, Huffington Post, Corriere della Sera, the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, The Globe, RAI TV, and Bloomberg TV, among others. Laitman’s message is simple: Only through unity and connection can we solve all of our problems, be they personal or global, creating a better world for our children. Dr. Laitman teaches live daily lessons to an audience of some two million people worldwide, simultaneously interpreted into English, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, French, Turkish, German, Hungarian, Farsi, Ukrainian, Chinese, and Japanese. Visit www.MichaelLaitman.com for more info. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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