Super Media Me: Part 2… Nurturing Generation Z

The last half of my four-day exploration into my media consumption required me to cut off my use of media completely. Is this possible? Not in this day and age, and definitely not as a mother who needs to stay connected. I needed to keep a line of communication open just in case something were to happen to my family.

My daughter and I went to visit my sister during the last two days of my observation, so staying away from the tv wasn’t hard. My living habitat is very tv centered, even with my daughter; whereas my sister keeps the tv off at her house. The whole weekend, the tv was on for a total of 1 hour. Her two daughters are still very technology savvy though.

My phone stayed on during this period, but I used it a lot less than normally. Ignoring it for a couple days was nice, much less of a distraction.  I am now considering disconnecting my email from my iphone because I got so much junk mail.

While I was trying to ignore media for the weekend, I decided to observe my nieces’ media consumption habits. They love to play games on the internet and on their Wii. My sister closely monitors how much time a day they spend on it. If they could spend all day on the computer, I’m sure they would! The girls also ask to play on their Mom or Dad’s iphone a lot to play with the game apps. They don’t get to do this very much. My sister knows how apt her girls are with computers, and makes sure that they stay on secure sites and away from chat rooms.

What I learned from my sister this weekend is that I have to limit what Kortney consumes and watches, because it can take over her life if I let it. As I stepped back from media to look at the role it plays in my life and my daughter’s life, I realized that we can only get more advanced. I also realized that I need to do like my sister, and protect my child from the dangers of media to children. Over-stimulation, deadening the imagination, and death of traditional media like books are some ones that come instantly to my mind. My sister reads to her girls every night, encourages creative activities like science club and art classes, and closely monitors their tv and computer usage.

What parents need to do for their kids is set an example with media by teaching them moderation and appropriateness. Spend time showing your kids things you love, and they’ll learn to expand their interests also. Generation Z is the future of technology and we have to teach them how to handle it safely and in moderation. I’m learning firsthand how fast a child’s youth goes, and I’m realizing how vital it is to be spent in the right ways.

Because of this exercise, I’ve realized that I need to use the internet and television in more moderation while I’m at home so I can spend more time playing with my daughter and nurturing her imagination. In reality, Generation Z will eventually have ultimate power when it comes to media. They will be able to do promote anything due to viral marketing.


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