Teenagers and technology

2016-07-27 06:00

EMBRACING technology and learning more about the online world could help parents understand more about their children’s way of life, according to Liesl Scheepers, educational technologist at Varsity College.

“Technology and the role it plays in children these days is enormous. It’s natural that parents are protective of their children but sometimes, if parents don’t understand the online world, they become suspicious of their children’s behaviour causing them not to open up and tell them what is going on,” she said.

Scheepers, who has fully embraced the online world and social media, said that it is normal for the older generation to relish face to face conversations with their friends. “This is the way things used to be. Spending social time with your friends camping or over coffee is how things used to done but this is not how the younger generation socialise. Young people hang out with their friends on their device.

“Often they are told they’re being antisocial when they are on their phones, but they’re being very social, just not in the way that adults are used to,” said Scheepers.

Scheepers said that although she encourages embracing technology and social media it does come with responsibility and teaching young people how to use it is and the dangers that come with it is important.

“I’m not saying that everything is safe and should be allowed however adults are not doing themselves any favours by treating everything online as morally questionable with bad intentions. Worry less about technology and more about your relationship. Technology is really exciting, we can do things that were never possible,” she said.

The generation 10 years ago would never have thought it possible to be able to access everything at their fingertips. “Understanding the digital landscape and its appropriate behaviour is important but the default can’t be that everything is negative. Be a little less quick to judge and you’ll have great stuff. If you treat everything with suspicion they [children] won’t want to share with you.

Scheepers said that technology, social media and reality have made a seamless integration.

“Do yourself a favour, put down your preconceived ideas and investigate the endless possibilities that technology brings. It’s works both ways, show interest in your children’s technology use because the comfortable days of having a pen pal is over,” she said.


Often they are told they’re being antisocial when they are on their phones, but they’re being very social, just not in the way that adults are used to

Do yourself a favour, put down your preconceived ideas and investigate the endless possibilities that technology brings

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