What strategy should we follow against hyperconnectivity?
What is hyperconnectivity? According to the Cervantes Institute, it is the direct translation of the Anglo Saxon term hyperconnectivity. It was coined by information science experts Anabel Quan Haase and Barry Wellman. It is a very recent concept, from the beginning of this 21st century, and comes to refer to the “synchronized and coordinated use of different devices and media”. In Wikipedia, these means and devices are, for example, email, instant messaging, mobile telephony, video calls…
However, its neutral origin has fallen into disuse and it is normally spoken of as hyperconnectivity as a bad thing, as a negative consequence of the constant use of technology on a daily basis. We can affirm, without risk of being mistaken, that most of us are hyperconnected. Computers, mobile phones, smart watches and bracelets, televisions connected to the Internet, smart speakers… Many times we have no other choice, our Laboral obligations lead us to it. Other times, it is inevitable that we spend so much time on technologies that make our lives easier and allow us to perform certain tasks. playful activities.
But when we mix hyperconnectivity and childhoodThat’s when the alarms sound. hyperconnectivity can be good or bad for an adult at various levels. That is another discussion. We start from the fact that this adult is, precisely, an adult and what this implies. In the case of a child or minor, we are talking about a non adult who is forming physically and mentally as an adult. And precisely because of this relevant fact, hyperconnectivity can be harmful.
Misuse begins with us
How many times have we seen babies or very young children hold a smartphone in your hands in which cartoon images are reproduced. The mobile phone as a substitute for the rattle and the pacifier. Hyperconnectivity in adulthood depends on many factors, but in childhood, the first entrance door of many of our children’s experiences are ourselves.
Determining at what ages we begin to provide them with music, take them on trips, take them to a museum or give them access to a television or an electronic device, to cite some of the experiences that they will encounter throughout their childhood, are personal decisions that parents should take according to their own considerations. But, of course, we must bear in mind that not all activities or experiences are suitable or recommended for all ages.
Where to put the limit to hyperconnectivity?
Drink this decision is difficult for several reasons. First, many of today’s leisure activities go through screens or connected devices. In other words, if in our childhood we were already scolded for spending all day in front of the television and/or the console, nowadays we have to add the hours that a child or minor it can happen in front of the computer, a smartphone or a tablet. Not because of the device itself, but because with that device you have access to videos, music, communicate with your friends, family and classmates…
Second difficulty in limiting hyperconnectivity. Children, and especially adolescents, are social beings. And it is precisely at these ages that they most want and/or need the company of other children and adolescents. Hence, they spend time on social networks and do activities with friends such as watching videos together or playing games online. How far can we go against the current? Difficulty to which is added that, precisely because of social exchange, the rules of some parents are compared with those of other parents. The classic “Fulanito is allowed to play online until 12 and you only until 9”.
Although it sounds better on paper than in practice, the best solution is find a balance between the time they spend online and the rest of their daily activities. Hang the dangerous sign on the hyperconnection without entering Assess how each child spends that timeIt doesn’t lead to anything either. And even more so if we take into account that the total prohibition is postponing a greater evil when he is an adult: not being familiar with technologies that will be, and are already, essential for any social sphere.
The constant search for balance
When and how we introduce the minor to certain practices or uses of technology will depend on the maturity of each child and their age. We must keep in mind that some of these technologies will be tools to learn and/or, in their adulthood, to work with. The more familiar they are, the more competitive advantages they will have. However, it is worth knowing when and how to accompany them in that learning and discovery of technologies such as video games, screens or online gaming. Hyperconnectivity may be unavoidable but not uncontrollable.
dose the use of technologies will be easier for us if we also provide them with alternative activities such as playing sports, inside or outside of school or acquiring hobbies that have to do with going outside or using non technological elements. What the experts call digital disconnect. The same thing that an adult does when they have been working in front of the computer for a long time or a child or minor when they have been studying for a long time. But it is clear that these alternative activities must be chosen. Forcing the minor to go out for a walk or to practice a sport that he does not like is guaranteed failure.
How do we know if we are doing it right? Experts often talk about certain attitudes or behaviors that alert us to a negative hyperconnection. Behavioral changes, sudden or violent behavior, irritability for unimportant things, anxiety, confrontations with adults without coming to mind or other actions that reveal excessive dependence on a certain device…
Still, we must be aware that reality that our children live is not the same that we live. We can transmit our values, knowledge and attitudes to them, but it is inevitable that there are practices or habits associated with technology that shock us or we consider excessive. Many of us we are before the smartphonesome of us took a while to touch the first computer and others have never played video games.