Encounter subtlety

Kids harvesting kale. Credit: woodleywonderworks, http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/5711747069/

Entertainment industry producers and tech companies are targeting an audience of children from birth.

Long before they can encounter the silences and subtleties the world offers – and disregarding the research on the subject of tech-induced damage to children’s brains – we are accepting the tech companies’ version of mediated reality being good for children.

This reminds me of the way that the tobacco companies once targeted young people in the 1950s and 1960s. Industry opinion on the issue of exposing children to a media/tech-mediated reality should carry about the same weight as studies by the oil conglomerates “proving” that there’s no such thing as global warming.

For now it’s up to parents and grandparents to do what is intuitively best for children: refuse to hand our children over to the tech/media profiteers. Connect them to the joy of hands-on encounters with our glorious planet and actual people.

Frank Schaeffer is the author of, most recently, Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics – and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway, Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2011.

Issue 30

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 30, Summer 2013, The Redoing Schooling Issue.

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Issue 30, Summer 2013

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