It is not much different than when; Bill and I began talking about certain events (Choking Game, Cyber Bullying, Sexting, etc.), that were taking place on the Internet and we got the look of deer in the headlights. For Dr. Mack R Hicks, author of “The Digital Pandemic” to address that we are in danger of losing that face-to-face relationship and that we ought to be concerned about the well-being of our children and their families might get the same expression of the later mentioned deer.
The CyberHood Watch partners, Dave & Bill, tried to recognize risky behaviors early, which were occurring on the Internet and tried to be the Paul Revere to warn our communities through our web sites. Not so much different than Dr. Mack R Hicks, who has recognized a potential hidden danger children, as well as adults, may be involved with and unaware of the dangers?
Dr. Mack pointed out that we and specifically children may be serving the needs of technology rather than technology serving the needs of the people. Moreover, we may be doing this at the expense of losing personal motivation, creative abilities, and becoming passive learners. This is a concept that Bill and I have alluded to many times. We are so wrapped up in the moment with the “aweness” of technologies that our blinders prevent us from recognizing its potential “hidden dangers”. These dangers are not the obvious ones like Cyber Bullying, Sexting, and many others, but the overall behavioral effects of our children consumed in the digital machines, as Dr. Mack describes in The Digital Pandemic.
Dr. Mack R. Hicks is a neuropsychologist who founded a not-for-profit center and 14 Center Academy schools, including the first school for dyslexics in England. Dr. Mack practiced as a licensed psychologist for over 30 years. Dr. Mack has recognized that the current steady diet of technology is altering the behavior of children, and believes the process is affecting our children’s brains. Technology is altering the family and the face-to-face relationships needed for healthy developmental relationships with peers, and within the family. Mack urges everyone to reevaluate their technology use and consider the family first and how technology can best serve the family and not the other way around. Maybe it is time to disconnect and regroup.
Children are being stimulated and not being motivated, which in the long run affects their goals and the future development of human relationships. According to Dr. Mack we need to take a look at our dependency on all things digital. We are becoming too dependent on our computers, smart phones, IM’s, and email messages, and losing the face-to-face relationships that afford us that human touch.
When, I mentioned the Sixth Sense project demonstrated at the “Ted” conference and the technology demonstrated, which is considered the beginnings of real time information, Dr. Mack, pointed out that even as great as the Sixth Sense was it couldn’t provide the warmth, the firmness, nor the touch of the human handshake. We must remember that technology needs to serve us and not consume us and our family relationships.
Dr. Mack pointed out that we need to focus on the family first and then add the technology, not as the focal point but, as a secondary tool to assist the family and our lifestyles. If we maintain our present course serving technology, we may run the chance of becoming more and more dependent, which may lead to obsessive behavior and even addiction.
Like, I indicated in the beginning, Bill and I have made every effort to communicate with our communities and help them to become aware of the hidden dangers children, families, and businesses face in the Digital Age. The same holds true of what Dr. Mack Hicks is communicating with all of us, and that is we need to recognize the hidden dangers of being plugged in to the digital “matrix”. It is an awareness Dr. Mack is communicating with all of us, and the potential long term affects that total blind indulgence in the digital machines may have on our children, families, businesses, and our society in the future.
A phrase I coined seems to apply here: “Does the future of the Internet (Digital Age) belong to our children or does the future of our children belong to the Internet (Digital Age)?”
Click here to watch an interesting TV interview with Dr. Mack R. Hicks.
david c ballard
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