A digital revolution has silently crept into our lives and brought oodles of good things that make life a lot easier … and yes, fun! 

However, a lot of this ‘fun’ is now based on interacting with a device, rather than another human being. And while we’re texting away on our phones, iPads and tablets we’re busily getting into our own heads talking to ourselves, but seldom thinking about others in the process. The devices’ responses have become the motivator, resulting in some remarkable social changes and terminology like ‘click bait’ and ‘fake’ news.

‘What’s in it for me?’ seems to be the catch cry of this digital, but not necessarily brave, new world! There’s a whole new digital aspect to ‘life’s rich tapestry’ out there now, but a key problem is its tendency to be introspective, anti-social, and one-dimensional.

Is this 21st Century the time now, where we’re ready to let the machines take us over and morph into robots, like they initially thought for the Industrial revolution? Texting on phones, posting photos on Facebook, Instagram, etc, twittering headlines to the masses, seems to have taken over from the standard social interactions of yesteryear. We’re all doing three things at once these days, so it’s much easier to just engage on digital media – we text friends and family rather than call because we don’t know if they’re home or maybe driving, and certainly don’t want to interrupt them — if they’re busy–with our small talk! A downside to this convenience is that skill of social interaction – where you say something in discussion, and the person responds in discussion, is being gradually eroded by the one-sided, one dimensional digital communication world.

As the New Year begins, it’s a good time to ask ‘What’s in it for me?’

Our vote is the words of wisdom on the picture that accompanies this blog (thanks to simpleasthatblog.com)!

Let’s all put digital in the ‘less is more’ category. Instead of handing your favourite little person your tablet to amuse them, sit down and read a book together. Talk about the story, the pictures, how the story compares to something else you know, discuss your favourite part of the story, how you would tell the story if some aspect was different, write and draw pictures for your new version of the story with lots of laughter and hugs in the process. Make a wonderful memory growing skills, learning, enjoying life, interacting together.

Happy New Year!

Great books for growing kids at www.myliteraryadventure.com.au