Our kids and teenagers make up most of the Gen Z and the main thing that characterizes them is technology! That’s right! They eat, sleep and breathe technology. These guys were born in the era when electronic media had already strengthened its roots and it only evolved further since then. Now, as most of them are teenagers or young adults, they are the best with gadgetry and being tech smart.
According to this infographic, Gen Z kids don’t like TV anymore. They are more into using PCs and smartphones – even for watching TV! Getting a personal phone or iPad is at the top of their wish list. 65% girls get their own mobile phones at the age of 12 while 79% get it between the ages of 13-15. These kids mostly use their device for social media networking, shopping, gaming or surfing the internet.
What has technology done to them?
- They are multitaskers. They do multiple things at a time and consider it productivity.
- Their main mode of communication is texting.
- 13% of girls frequently shop online.
- Almost half of them are online all day.
- They play online games either on smartphones or separate gaming devices.
- 79% of children get uneasy when they can’t access their devices.
- They care about the environment.
- 70% of them make sure to reduce energy consumption.
So, it is clear that Gen Z’s life revolves around the internet and digital devices. The question is to what extent should parents let technology lead their lives? If we do pros and cons, it looks like tech influence has made them faster and smarter. They are able to reach different parts of the world through the internet, communicate with people in different countries. The face of learning has changed with internet surfing and eBooks. They are more equipped and more knowledgeable.
But the internet also presents them to dangerous people, cyberbullying, inappropriate content and extreme behaviors. They are becoming tech addicts who cannot live without devices. Their health is at risk because of this addiction. Obesity, eye problems, wrong posture, depression, and social anxiety are increasing day by day. They are adopting unsafe activities like sexting and online harassment that also set them up for criminal charges.
Balancing – Gen Z
There is no point in taking their gadgets away from them. The truth is they need them and they are actually helpful. But there should be a balance in how they use these devices. The challenge for parents is to help them create a harmony and use the “good” of technology and keep away from the “bad”.
- Teach them the internet safety rules about sharing, talking to people, giving harsh comments and responding to such comments.
- Keep a complete watch on them with FamilyTime watch.
- Limit their device use with screen timeouts – iOS and Android.
- Manage and ensure safe use of mobile applications.
- Stay up-to-date with location tracking and Geofencing.
- Get alerts to never miss an important thing.
- Spend device free time once in a while.
- Get them accustomed to social gatherings.
It’s all about remembering that devices are machines which should be used when required and then put away. That is possible when we take a breather from them and indulge in the earthly things that require us to exert physically and interact without any devices. I’d say raising Gen Z about is raising technically sound, but technical safe kids! So are you raising them smartly?