We all love our tech, don’t we? It is as much integral to our daily lives as strawberry and cream is to Wimbledon! We do most things on our smartphones these days which are getting smarter every day. You don’t even have to type in any more, you just have to speak and your wish is your smart tech’s command!
So, it was only a matter of time before tech crept into the lives of our young ones as well. First it started with the endless stream of videos which would keep them entertained. And then they started to search for things themselves. How proud we all felt that they could do all of that at such an early age! We even joke about babies being born with tablets in their hands. Such a funny notion, right? I even remember an internet meme on this very topic.
But we seriously overlooked something very fundamental in getting this tech craze into our children’s lives – their hand muscle development! This is extremely important for dexterity in human beings. There are studies which show that children have difficulty holding pencils and pens because of their overexposure to tech. They are more used to tapping a screen than writing.
It is quite understandable. Because modern life is pretty busy and we hardly find time to relax. So, to hand over the iPad to the child is a very simple and effective way to calm them down rather than spend some time playing with building blocks or stacking toys or the like.
Some would say that this is part of the whole process of evolution. That our future generations would adapt accordingly, natural selection and all that. But shall we just take a moment to stop and think about it? Do we really want our children to lose the most natural of abilities? Do we really want to send our children to occupational therapy sessions so they know how to use their hands?
And it is not just about writing. To me, this has even bigger implications for the future of our arts and creative industries. The words of Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba, keep ringing in my ears about the future of humanity relying on our creative endeavour. Because most of the other things can be easily taken over by AI and automation. He is, in a way, repeating what the great Einstein said all those years ago.
The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination – Albert Einstein
So, to go back to the issue of our children’s development, how about going back to simple old play time? Maybe a good balance of tech and toys? And while we are at it, how about toys that do not harm the planet and even help provide sustainable livelihoods? Shameless plug, I know. But this is Ethiqana’s blog, after all 🙂
Our range of non-toxic wooden toys are built to last and help young children develop their eye-hand coordination and motor skills. What’s more, because they do not come with built-in sounds etc, children are free to indulge in their imagination.
Would love to know what you think. Comments and suggestions, always welcome.