How does growing up immersed in technology impact our kids, and how can we help them achieve the balance that we all suspect is eluding them, and us?
New research suggests that stepping away from the shiny Apple product and into the woods can have a big impact on creativity and problem-solving. The research indicates that there is a “real, measurable cognitive advantage to be realized if we spend time truly immersed in a natural setting,” the authors write. For this reason, day camp is the perfect way to spend this upcoming summer!
Indeed, a few researchers have begun to study the impact of technology on children’s “prosocial skills”—how to be a normal, empathetic, look-you-in-the-eye type of kid, basically—and it doesn’t exactly make you want to get your niece an iPad mini for her birthday. “Angry Birds is a cheap babysitter, but it’s lousy at teaching a 4-year-old to understand others’ emotions or tame her own id.” These noticeable character traits can be earned through a person to person experience. Putting aside the technology in place of an outdoor environment and friendly human interaction will grow character. At camp, we believe in this kind of development, and studies are behind us! “There’s some really compelling evidence out of the social labs in Stanford that paints a dark picture about what happens if we’re connected 24/7,” Strayer says. “But you can undo some of that negativity by just disconnecting, getting off the grid, and going into a natural environment.”