I’ve been reading several books about the impact that smart phones have had on our lives (Digital Minimalism and Make Time). It’s been interesting to read about how devices that are supposed to make our lives more convenient actually decrease our productivity and impact us in ways not once imaginable. For example, have you ever ignored the question or conversation of someone important to you because you were wrapped up in your smart phone?
The idea that modern technology makes our lives better in many different ways is something that we should consider critically. We have traded off some of our joy and happiness for convenience – at least what we believe to be convenience. We are tethered to our smartphones, adhering to strict schedules, and responding to pings and dings at all hours of the day. Many of us have become trapped by our own devices.
Reading these books has also made me think a lot about what we’ve been able to do in the past year in our schools. Modern convenience has allowed us to connect our students to learning when they weren’t able to come into our school buildings. The fact that we were able to do this on a consistent basis is truly pretty remarkable. I wonder though if we have made some trade-offs?
We’ve asked students to be connected to devices for hours on end. We’ve isolated many students in their rooms away from their friends. We’ve made kids even more reliant on connection through a screen. All of it was brought on by a pandemic, and I think that we did the best that we could given the circumstances.
Modern convenience allowed us to reach kids and still call it “school.”
But we did trade joy for convenience.
Now it’s time that we consider how to bring that joy back.