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We need only the very best of technology

It has been shown scientifically that within minutes of beginning to watch TV, the brain changes from alert brainwaves . . . to hypnotic waves . . . where the judgement centre of the brain is bypassed. So the violence and decadence that accumulate in the child’s brain bypass the judgement centre in the brain and leave [the child] without the ability to decide whether [he or she] should watch [what’s on TV] or not.

–– Pastor Colin Thorne, executive secretary of the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, at the opening this week of Health Week for SDA primary and secondary school students. 

Pastor Thorne’s submission is not without merit –– and certainly not without a case for grave concern. Unquestionably, the marathon watching of television –– by the traditional set or through the numerous technological platforms now available –– is not healthy for child or adult.

And the preponderance of violence and injustice, the naked display of hooted selfishness and the subtle story “moral” that crime can pay –– à la United States –– are less than desirable for a society like ours that once boasted and was exemplary of community sharing and caring, and being our neighbour’s keeper.

As Pastor Thorne sought to drive home, we and our children are obsessed to the hilt with television –– we add the technology platform –– and natural human interaction is now an interruption, interference, and a bother. Once there is access to a table computer, laptop or the seemingly ubiquitous smartphone, child and adult immerse themselves in the entertainment and joys of our Digital Age to the exclusion of all else.

Truth be told, we are constantly being reminded that that is the way to go. And, lest we be left lagging, we surely take the step onto the waiting platform. But we must use the technology for the healthy benefit of ourselves and country –– whether for pleasure, education or business.

Granted, the information technology and world connectivity encircle us; but constraint must be the watchword. It is at this point that we adults must exercise and display control and responsibility, and encourage our charges to do the same.

Forty-three hours of TV or smartphone entertainment indulgence a week is not merely unhealthy; it is toxic; and, unheeded, incurably sickening.

As Pastor Thorne sought to impress upon the minds of parents and children earlier this week, entranced by the mostly sordid entertainment thrown up by television and smartphone, we can lose the ability to determine what is right from wrong, and “decadence is accepted by the brain, without any moral judgement applied to it, and it then becomes part of the . . . permanent subconscious”.

Dare we dismiss the notion that what we are fed via technology and TV we become? Dare we risk this with ourselves –– and, in particular, our offspring?

It isn’t every new set of wares that is thrown at us by the American techie innovators and marketers we need blindly gobble up. It isn’t every depraved American movie or what passes for comedy we need to see –– just to be with it, by United States’ standards. Its touted problem-solving technologies will not always live up to their reputations, particularly when improved efficiencies and productivity are promoted as guaranteed without the unique intervention of the old analytical human mind. Nor does its many much touted and promoted movie classics do anything for the elevation of the more educated mind. They are more of a poison to it actually.

To miss this counsel is to plunge ourselves into the abyss of confusion, disorientation and despair –– child or adult.

We aver that the controversial Charlie, Charlie Challenge fallout is literally child’s play –– every pun intended –– to this dilemma of befuddlement, immobilization and resultant despondency.

Already we are seeing our younger generation being adept at computer games and social media, but grossly incompetent in natural social skills and severely challenged in traditional educational pursuits, even unable to carry
on any in-depth conversation. This bodes danger and disaster for our Independent Barbados.

The powers that be, indeed for our better health, need to influence and channel us all –– child and parent –– into more responsible usage of the technology cum television for our youth’s own favourable maturing and our very own national peace of mind.

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