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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Put the phones down and run barefoot in the grass.

Jul 29, 2019 01:20PM

Dave Korba

I watched an episode of 60 Minutes recently about the increasing pace at which industries and governments are refining and adopting artificial intelligence (AI). One expert predicts that approximately 40 percent of the current work force—blue and white collar included—will be displaced by the advent of AI within decades.

When I was younger, the basic path for career success was, “Do well in school, get a solid education, secure a stable job and retire with a pension.” It was a logical path that fit the times just several short decades ago. That path has changed dramatically, and is now gone forever. Not only are corporate pensions a thing of the past, we are also in a dynamic era of technological growth that some applaud as progress, while others consider it terrifying.

The rate of technological change is so rapid that grade school, middle school and high school students must not only understand current technology basics to survive, but also develop lifelong skills for continual learning, adaptability and critical thinking in order to thrive in today’s and future economies.

Yet, while the pace of technological advancement increases, we cannot depend solely on technological overload to insure success for our children. This is particularly true regarding screen time for young children. A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics confirmed that for every additional hour young people spend on social media or watching television, the severity of depressive symptoms they experience rises.

We must be vigilant, in spite of technology, to raise our children to be grounded, well-rounded, healthy and happy, which will give them the best opportunity for future success in a world filled with technology that did not exist just two decades ago. 

Inside this issue, Meredith Montgomery confronts these challenges head-on in “21st Century Parenting: Preparing Kids for the Future.” She offers insights into raising kind, resilient and resourceful kids in a world vastly different from the one we grew up in.

For an unscientific, yet stark indicator of the rapid rate of technological change in real world terms, I enjoyed a recent video of two teenagers using a rotary phone for the first time. The video can be found at this link:

Find time to put the phones down and run barefoot in the grass with the kids, always teaching them how to feel good, live simply and laugh more.

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