Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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Letters to the Editor

November 6, 2013

Kids ‘intexticated’ with technology

— — Cells phones are destroying our children. Seventy-eight percent of teenagers have cell phones, according to the Pew Research Center Organization. What did we do before cell phones evolved? We stayed connected in simple ways like visiting, writing letters, home telephones and answering machines. Life was good back in the day. Times have really changed. Cell phones are common accessories today.  Most parents like cell phones because it allows them to keep in touch with their children. Life is very busy, and cell phones make it easy to check in on family and friends while on the go. However, cell phones have diminished the value of verbal communication, thinking skills and the family as a unit. Our children today are totally “intexticated.”

Texting has overtaken the role of verbal communication. Children no longer have to speak or communicate effectively to others. The simply “shoot” a text. Most texts are abbreviations like IDK, LOL or OMG. The ability to spell has been taken over by auto-correct. Children don’t have to spell correctly because it is done for them. How is this preparing them for the future? I seriously doubt college or job interviews are done through text messages.

The aspect of critical thinking has been taken away by Google and Ask.com, along with many more easily accessible sites. Many look up answers for homework on their cell phone versus reading a book for the answer. This makes homework quicker and requires less thinking. Our children need to learn critical thinking skills because one day they will be taking care of us. Family time has been replaced with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine. Children are more focused on what’s happening on their phone than what’s happening around them.

Children need to learn the old-fashioned way of communication, learning and social interaction before given all this technology. Commit to having your children put away their cell phones for one hour every day and replace the time with family conversation or reading a book. Additional information on this subject can be found at the following website: http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/2013/teens-and-tech

Brandi Gallinger R.N.

Princeton

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