Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Because nothing is a good substitute for physical interaction

There is a looming class action lawsuit against Disney for the Baby Einstein videos. However, as much as I have always thought these videos are big pile of horse hockey, as are all the little electronic gadgets we set kids up with to melt their minds before the age of four, I don't know whether I would support a lawsuit against Disney. This is where self-accountability comes in. It seems fairly obvious to me that, as research shows:

"there is a link between early television exposure and later problems with attention span"

That being said, we live in a technological age; one can't eliminate technology out of a child's life completely. However, one also shouldn't rely on it as a crutch for parenting. I don't think there is any replacement for playing at the park, learning to read and write at home, going fishing, having picnics and tea parties. It is a lot of work to be a parent, and whether the work is put in up front with interactive activities, or later, dealing with inattentive, uncooperative children, the work is still there. It is a choice of when and what kind of effort one wants to put in.

Technology isn't bad, but it is a tool, like any other, to complement our lives, not to take it over.

The lawsuit, however, claims to be over deceptive advertising. Hmm...where does the line get drawn? Perhaps it depends on the expertise of the person doing the advertising? But maybe that isn't even it. Where has our critical thinking gone? Why should we take anything on face value? We should be skeptical of anything or anyone claiming to be/have a one-stop cure-all solution. Even further, we should be skeptical of any claim until it has enough evidence that we are confident in accepting the claim.

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