Growing up with tech. In 2021.

Software and other technologies have been eating the world. Do they affect how our children grow up? Who they become? Their relationships? Their educational accomplishments? Social development? Physical fitness? Long-term cognitive health? Happiness? Resilience?

I’ve thought those questions were worthy of deeper examination since I became a parent to twins in 2018. I remained surprised this country’s widely publicized and far-sweeping efforts to increase ‘safety’, or at least the perception of it, has not led to a deeper discussion about topics like screentime, sharenting, the Internet of Things and then AI entering everyday toys, the ubiquity of parental surveillance tools, parental addiction to tech. Those are just a few now-humdrum issues that were unheard of as recently as twenty years ago.

During the dark days of Covid all those concerns necessarily took a backseat. Many standards had to be let go in that situation: the priority was immediate safety, for many. Keeping a job, a roof over a family’s head, food security, protecting people from a still-unknown disease. Yet at least my toddlers came out of their quarantine as preschoolers with a TV habit I’m still struggling to kick for them. Translate: This blog is not a venue for me to masquerade as a Parenting Expert or a Supermom whose house is completely in order. I value realness along with maintaining a questioning mindset.

If I do some things right, this blog will raise our collective awareness of the interstices of our kids’ and our own collision with tech. It won’t peddle simplistic solutions to complex problems or be overly prescriptive.

While I hope to have some experts come visit and opine, I also think looking at tech-related experiences children and/or parents are having is important, even where those experiences are anecdotal or not newsworthy. Did something improve a kid’s life or totally miss the mark? Could one family’s experience help another one navigate similar struggles? The sharing of that information is where the Internet is often at its best, especially if your kid happens to be on the long tail of some curve. So here I go, blogging like it’s the aughts.

Email me at Lauren@techsherpa.org always if you have feedback, thoughts, a story, or topics you’d like covered.