Social media is an excellent tool which we have access too. Allowing us to connect with peers from the past, distant relatives, professional networking, it has changed the way we interact in day to day life. In childhood though, is it a good thing? Is technology ruining our childhoods, or enhancing it?
This debate was incredibly interesting, because it was one of the few that we saw an almost entire flip of the opinion. Most of us began as agreeing, social media ruins childhood. However, by the end of the debate most of us disagreed.
In the sense of going outside, playing games, relaxng, interacting socially in person, not stressing out over drama, etc…technology does ruin childhood, And it does ruin childhood in the perspective of our childhoods because most of us grew up without technology, or with technology just coming into play halfway through our childhood.
Consider this! Moderns students and most kids nowadays have NEVER experienced life without technology! Isn’t that a crazy thought to wrap your mind around? You can see how this might alter the social media argument. See, these children have their own definition of childhood, and it is what they are experiencing right now. Nothing in the definition of childhood states that they must play outside, they must interact in person. Childhood is simply “the age span ranging from birth to adolescence.”
So, up until the very end of the debate the majority of class agreed that social media and the stress of “being in the know” is absolutely ruining childhood. However, Cassidy changed everything in her final debate statement with the comment: “What even is childhood”. This changes everything, because it makes you realize that your childhood is not the same as modern childhoods.
With this in consideration: technology is ruining OUR childhoods, however it is not ruining anyone elses childhoods. We have a different definition and that will not change, but as educators we need to be aware and considerate in the fact that these children have never lived without technology and social media, and their childhood is and will always be different because of this.
Is social media ruining childhoods? I doubt we will ever know for sure, it has its negative affects, but for now we have to consider that social media isn’t ruining modern childhood, and instead it is a defining foundational part of modern childhood.