Several months back, while on vacation with my family, we were at dinner and noticed these toddlers, who could not be older than two years old, sitting with their respective parents. Though their ages were exactly the same, their behavior was not. One toddler was quiet and focused on his iPad, while the other was soothed by his parents and eating his food. I could not help but think one was being a “child,” and the other was being “conditioned.”
It was actually heartbreaking to witness. The one toddler was in a zombie-like state staring at his little monitor, just large enough for him, perfectly colored and designed for him to maneuver with his little fingers, and the other toddler was using his little fingers to pick up the food and enjoy the human interaction that was going on around him.
I immediately thought about how much of this is truly healthy for ANYONE of us. How much of this digital pacifying are we doing as ADULTS!!! I know I am guilty of spending too much time on my phone, scrolling, posting, and reacting. Our human engagement comes with an electronic attached to it. Our relevance comes from what we may have posted, read, and reacted to from our phones.
I’d like to know what our society will look like in 5, 10, or 20 years when we no longer look each other in the eyes. When we cannot converse without thinking about what we are missing out on and when we cannot relate to current events unless we have our electronic devices to tell us what those are.
We must understand that not everything good is good for us. Our electronic devices are a prime example. We have lost the sense of moderation. We have lost the decorum that goes into human interaction.
As I write this, I know how much this is challenging me!
Sometimes the pacifying of a toddler creates the isolation of a child, the rebellion of a teenager, and the dysfunction of an adult.
We must decide what we want our future society to look like. Stop blaming others for what we contribute! Let’s try and remember who we were and how we were before the age of the digital pacifier.
How hard will that be for you? It will be a challenge for me…but I will try.
Let’s try together.