This morning I listened to the Dr Katherine Albrecht Show (see archive of 27 February 2014). Katherine was discussing the impact of video gaming on children. I watched this clip as a result of the program she aired.

Yesterday, Dr Albrecht appeared on George Noury's Coast to Coast program (see technology update here) and discussed the 'I want my iPad' phenomenon in toddlers. Here is another video she pointed to:

And another... She maintained that she would generally NOT wish for listeners to view these kinds of clips online but in this instance, it was the only way to raise awareness to an epidemic occurring in our society.

This phenomenon is a known phenomenon. See more. So what are we doing about it? Gathering the evidence and putting our kids online so that our Youtube hits increase ten-thousand fold?

I feel so sick in linking these videos of these kids up online in the uberveillance.com environment. But I am calling people out there to wake up to the what is occurring in most of our households. 

What is the answer? 

Better parenting?

Better friends and extended support groups?

Zero tolerance on screen time for toddlers?

Better education?

Schools saying 'no' to technology in the classroom?

Are we adding fuel to the fire?

 

What is blatantly obvious to me is that we need more research into SOLUTIONS. We can't have kids crying like this and profusely suffering anguish, and we cannot have parents surviving this kind of daily misery... and most of all we need to feedback these problems to developers... we cannot point the finger at Apple or Google alone... we need to point the finger at ourselves... society... yes 'we' perpetuate the problem. We can plead ignorance but we all know someone going through this- a child, a grandchild, a niece or nephew, a friend or a neighbour... in fact, we might be even going through it ourselves!

 

Where have we gone wrong?

Beyond that obvious point?

Why are the parents of these poor children putting their kids up online for everyone to comment on? Are they deep down seeking help? Do they want their prayers answered? Do they want to make their kids well?

We cannot claim ALL of these children appearing in thousands of uploads (just search online) are due to autism or some other mental illness or developmental problems! And if we claim that, are computers somehow contributing to these developmental issues?

The other thing that becomes apparent to me is the use of the mobile phone video camera as a weapon. Have we become so heartless, that we begin now to film these traumatic events and post them online for others to comment on. You were right on the mark Dr Albrecht. This is evil. Instead of going over and gently comforting our kids to return to their senses, we take out the camera to record the reality-tv... and so our children are now a part of a global theatre!

In previous posts, I have discussed the importance of NOT capturing these moments so we can allow our children to grow and develop, and not be held accountable for things they did as children. MG Michael and I have discussed the limits of watching. With Christine Perakslis we have also written an extensive book chapter on veillance (in press)! 

Can you imagine being one of the kids in this video? How would that make you feel 5 years on, 10 years on, 20 years on, or when you first discovered it was online for all to see on Youtube? Would you be typecast for life?

 

Everyone, we have to wake up! I am not being alarmist... if your heart doesn't feel sad over these videos then I personally don't know what to say...

And then we are contemplating taking Glass into the classroom? Right-o! Don't you think these tantrums don't happen at school? Will our children become "objects" not just "subjects" in the classroom? Let us tread VERY carefully. We can't use our kids as experiments. We need to think ethics.

And it is not just children that react this way... no... no... adults too, have this reaction but just convey it in a different way. See my article on high-tech lust!

We need to take the negative social implications of computers more seriously. Yes, some guys out there claim that computers can help kids... all my fellow collaborators and I are claiming is that the opposite is also true. Let's not be so narrowsighted. This is our future we are talking about!