WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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The Pew Research Center recently released its Teens and Technology report, in which they our pre-digital brains, our well-developed critical thinking, and face-to-face social skills to actively manage the influence of technology in our entire family's lives? queried technology experts as to the net posi- Most of the negatives associated with being "always connected" stem from a perceived over- tive or net negative influence of hyper-con- use of technology. How much is too much? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nectivity on children. The result was a fairly that children under two avoid all screen time, and that parents limit the screen time of older even split: 55 percent were positive, 42 per- children to no more than two hours a day. By all accounts, our children's media consumption is cent negative. Several respondents said the most realistic outcome would be a combination of both scenarios. Respondents who were generally positive cited young people's ability to be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers, who can learn information fast, and use the Internet to find answers to questions efficiently. Participants who were more negative cited an unhealthy thirst for instant gratification, shallow consumption of information and superficial thinking capabilities, a dearth of face-to-face social skills, a lack of patience, and short attention spans. The study also asked respondents to list what they thought will be essential life skills for our children in 2020. The list included several skills that appear to be both enabled and thwarted by hyper-connected lives. Among them were: problem-solving through cooperative work; searching and vetting information online effectively; synthesizing details from multiple sources; future-oriented, strategic thinking; finding valuable the ability to concentrate. In the face of so much divergence of opinion, what are parents to do? Are we to use 165 f a l l 2 0 1 3 | We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e insights among plenty of noise; and having

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