Is Modern Culture Ruining Childhoods?
Change is inevitable in a world that is bursting with such promising potential. With change come new beliefs and discoveries, thus allowing people to adopt a new modern-based perspective. The shift from traditional to the modern culture has impacted society greatly. The impact of modern culture has had both positive and negative consequences in how we lead our lives. Among children modern culture has impacted negatively and is in fact ruining childhood by exposing them to ugly truth, pushing them to grow up too quickly and making them forget the true meaning of childhood. The following paper illustrates how childhood has been ruined childhood.
Exposing Children to the Ugly Truth
Every parents desire is to bring up their child in an environment of peace, abundance, health, love for their neighbors, positivity and healthy relations. However modern culture that is characterized with spontaneous development and advancement of technology has empowered children and brought them to the harsh reality that the world is not a bed of roses. Parents and guardians are no longer able to protect their children from the ugly truth of cut throat competition, terrorism, rape, drug abuse, prostitution, divorce, murder, pornography and all these vices that are ailing the world today. Survival is only for the fittest as you have to compete for basically everything. The television, internet and social media has in one way or another encouraged the spirit of winning no matter the cost. As a result children are growing up with the mentality and spirit of competition very deeply rooted in them that they dont mind stepping on their colleagues toes so long as they get the price. Through access of wide information and such things as music children are becoming partisan and are developing beliefs that they are ready to die for. Television channels have cropped up that fully concentrates on wars and natural calamities. Music such as hip hop encourages drug taking and nudity and children are being made to believe that this kind of life is okay and they should work towards achieving the same. No wonder majority of youths and children in the USA are aspiring to be like Justin Beiber and not doctors, surgeons or engineers.
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Pushing Them to Grow Up Too Quickly
Children are nowadays being hurried through childhood which might in the long run result to harmful effects. Majority of the psychologists have expressed concerns that accelerating children growth rate may have effects that will be devastating at the end of it all. Modern culture has overemphasized on success and children are on the receiving end being bombarded to grow up quickly every passing day. Due to the daily advancement of media and technology, children are more often than not being portrayed and expected to carry themselves like little adults. What modern culture is failing to realize is that exposing children to stresses of childhood consequently lead them to exhibiting adulthood ailments. This explains why nowadays psychiatric units are flocked with a new breed of youngsters who are troubled by ailments that were traditionally believed to be experienced by aged people. It is not a wonder for a pediatrician to come across children as young as 7 years having stress related ailments particularly ulcers. Others include bedwetting and sleep disorders. With the modern culture taking its toll depression and consequential suicide are not restricted to adults any more but is rather being witnessed even among children.
Making them Forget the True Meaning of Childhood
Traditionally childhood was characterized by many hours of play and experimentation. It goes without saying that play is very vital to a childs growth as it enables them experience joy, reduce stress and create social networks. It enables children appreciate love, compassion and teamwork. For example when children are playing football and are in teams they get to learn that they need each other in order to score. Traditionally it was common for children to try out new things which mainly revolved around imitating what their parents and adults around them did. It was normal to find a child carry a doll on their back or assemble plastics into a toy car. Such activities boosted their creativity. Modern culture has eroded a great deal of all these. In the modern society play has been overtaken by work particularly school work. Childrens environment has been transformed to be very competitive. To remain afloat children are sacrificing their play time in favor of the books and consequently they become immobile and lose interaction with others as well as forfeit traditional play. Worse still parents and guardians have placed a heavy burden on childrens shoulders through pegging their performance to the love they receive. This has led to frustration and anxiety among children. The little time they secure away from their books is spent on watching television as well as playing games on mobile phones, computers and other electronic gadgets which are distracting them from what is going on in their surroundings through their addictiveness. The theme of majority of these video games revolves around guts, blood and killing. In turn children are slowly by slowly made to believe that violence is the order of the day among people.
Modern culture is to some extent flourishing childhoods and helping them to be better, especially because of its access to technology. Advancement of technology has enabled broadening of the childrens horizon as it is very easy to access information from any part of the world through a click of a button. This makes kids feel empowered and enhance their levels of autonomy. At the same time some video games that are available for children are mind boggling and assist them sharpen their brains through critical and strategic thinking as well as stretching their imagination. The various computer software available affordably to children today have aided learning through acting as learning tools as well as visual aids. These aids make understanding easy as they create a picture in the childs mind that is so vivid that it will take long for them to forget. Educational games also simplify learning through making it fun and arousing enthusiasm in children.
Because of the forever evolving technology, the access to harmful or dangerous information will be uncontrollable. It will surely do more bad than good. The internet is the main technology that has linked information to children. In a survey conducted in 2013, 6 out of 10 children had access to internet. 79 percent had computers at home. Advancement in technology, has developed internet-enabled devices such as TVs, phones and electronic books. Children can easily access sexually explicit materials, drugs and violent.
From the above it goes without saying that technology is here to stay. Although it has a few positive impacts on our children it is obvious from the above argument that modern culture is ruining childhood. It is our collective responsibility therefore to promote and safeguard childhood in this modern society. Guardians, parents and teachers should collectively safeguard children from the negativities brought by technological advancement through upholding the virtues and not just using passwords and assuming everything is in order.