Lots of interesting points were made this week in the third debate. One of the things that really struck me, was that young children are choosing screen time over spending time in nature. This is a very unfortunate because of all the benefits – such as running, jumping, skipping, and playing in the grass and breathing healthy fresh air. It sounds basic, but children are not having these same opportunities when they are inside on their game systems and computer apps. The article Technology-addicted kids and Nature Deficit Disorder talks about how children are developing a “wide range of physical, mental health and behavioral problems.” I have never heard of such a thing as ‘nature deficit disorder’ – but it makes sense. This article goes on to mention the child obesity rates have more than doubled over the last 30 years.
Cyberbullying seems to be responsible for a lot of harm. A London School of Economics report found cyberbullying to be even more prevalent that bullying that happens ‘face-to-face’. I have not had much personal experience with this, as I teach grade three. As far as I am aware- there is not much cyberbullying at these early stages of schooling. (Let me know if you have had a different experience with this…).
The flip side of this debate brought to mind the idea that social media can motive people to get involved with others who encourage them to participate in things that will make them become more healthy. This could be true, but I think people who have the willpower to exercise in the first place, often don’t need the support of others. The concept of support for eating disorders on instagram is an unsettling one. The nature of eating disorders is usually for sufferers to want support in the wrong direction. They usually want people to get shocked by how thin they are becoming. So I’m not sure a wide audience is the best thing for helping someone to improve an eating disorder.
I loved the article about the high school student who posted positive things about his classmates for a whole year. To me – that is a fantastic use of social media 🙂 Especially, since there is evidence that Facebook and Social Media have been linked to depression. Just like everything else, things can be used either for good or for bad. During our ‘zoom’ session this week, the concept of balance came up a number of times. I think it is really an important thing to remember… I found an interesting Ted Talk where a young woman speaks about her personal experience of being addicted to social media and her cell phone.
I think balance is the goal !