We live in fabulous times. That’s right, today having a genius at your service is available to almost everyone. Do you want to know how? Read this article.
Let me remind you of a story from your childhood: A young man finds a wonderful lamp and, when he rubs it, a genie comes out of it to grant him only three wishes. I’m sure you wished you had that lamp and even made a list of the three things you would ask for. Things that seemed incredible back then. But what seems incredible is that now almost everyone has the equivalent of that lamp in their pocket. We call it a “smart phone” or a “tablet.”
The smartphone, by the way, is something that none of us could have dreamed or imagined thirty years ago: the computer in the Batcave had no printer, no screen, much less a touchscreen. If we think about it, that little gadget that we carry in our pocket makes us very powerful, much more productive, with much more capacity to do good … or bad.
As Randall L. Ridd said not long ago: “With the internet you can accomplish great things in a short time or get caught up in a myriad of trivia that waste your time and diminish your potential. With a click of the button they can access anything their heart desires. That’s the key: What does your heart want? What are they attracted to? Where will your wishes lead you?
Many, many decades ago, when I was a teenager, on the wall of my room I pasted a sign that said, “Sow a wish, and you will reap a thought. Sow a thought, and you will reap a fact. Sow a fact, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you will reap an eternal destiny. Educator Neal A. Maxwell put it this way: “What we persist in desiring is what, in time, we will become and what we will receive in eternity… Only by educating and disciplining our desires will they become our allies. instead of our enemies.
In a part of the Disney movie “Fantasia” we are told a story that may well be a metaphor for our days. In “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a young man uses his master’s power to facilitate his work. He puts a broom to work carrying water for him. But, not knowing how to control her, that obedient and unintelligent slave turns against her master, flooding the house. Like the apprentice’s broom, technology is a powerful instrument.
No, even if they have that name, in reality there are no smartphones: they are made to be very entertaining and, if we use them without purpose, they can be addictive and become a problem, especially if we do not teach our children to use them wisely. In many cases, technology will not only not empower them, it will enslave them to frivolity and make them addicted to social media. Today we are constantly connected, immersed in a sea of data, but with little time to understand or analyze it: we are intoxicated with information. Our children are like ships that sail in waters where there are many currents of wind, which push them to different places, even opposite. They need three things in order to navigate to their destination:
First: The map
Teach your child who he is, what you expect of him, help him become aware that time flies, and that it does not return. Help him to see himself on the map of the economy of the country and the world, its social problems, its historical reality. Placing ourselves on the map of who we are and where we are going will facilitate decision-making in managing your time, including the time spent with the phone in hand.
Second: The compass
When we have a goal to achieve, it is necessary to know where we are to reach that goal. Using a comparison with the world of cell phones, I will say that you have to teach your child not only to recharge his phone every day, but to regularly connect with his map and see where he is, in relation to his goals. Many of us interrupt whatever we are doing to read a text message. In the same way, young people must be taught to leave anything that takes them away from the course that they have set for their future.
Third: The anchor
Having a “smartphone” doesn’t make them smart, but using it wisely can. Every parent has to give their children principles and values that prevent them from doing inappropriate things with their cell phones. That when they drive, they drive; when in class, focus on the class; when you are with the family, pay attention to them. Yes, you have to teach your child that it is a lie that the brain can really focus on two things at the same time. Multitasking is actually switching your attention between one thing and the other – no one can do two things well at the same time. Many young people believe that they can chat, watch TV, listen to music and study for a test. I invite anyone who wants to do it, to tell me if in the end they are satisfied with the results of said exam, for example.
Technology is neither good nor bad. It is just a tool. Very powerful, very useful and very seductive. But it is only a means, not an end. A challenge that every parent has is to educate their child to retain the ability to rub the lamp only when it is needed, without becoming a slave to that genius of the 21st century: the cell phone. In the end, the intelligent person is the one who finds a balance between real life and the universe of technology. And you, what do you think about it?