Ten years ago a student’s life was a little different. Students were more motivated, focused and dedicated to continuing their education past high school. Nowadays, it seems that middle school and high school students are more reluctant to do well in school and less inspired to head off to college. We can start to point fingers at parenting and bad schools but it’s hard not to see that perhaps technology and the media is the aiding culprit in this disappointing euphony.
It’s no groundbreaking news that most students have never really wanted to study; studying has been a pain for students for decades. What student wouldn’t rather go see a movie over finishing a report for English class? The past ten years a lot of things have changed in technology. With these great inventions come some negatives. Texting on cell phones started in the mid 1990’s but wasn’t available for most phones until about 2002-2003. Texting has become such a phenomena in 2008 and affected all aspects of in the communication world; texting is the number one way to communicate for teens. With texting comes another distraction: social media, most specifically Facebook. Facebook has over 900 million active users and counting.
Students have more opportunities to distract themselves than they did 10 years ago. There weren’t as elaborate gaming systems, touch screen tablets and interactive blog and websites as readily available. Humans are naturally social creatures that yearn for attention and a need to feed their curiosity on knowing all. Today’s technology distracts students on many different levels by offering them the ability to always be one step ahead of the game. With the endless and enticing options that technology offers students, it’s easy to see why they prefer to play than to study.
Studying distractions leads to lower grades, in which turns to less motivation for students, coupled with the social and society standards it’s no wonder students don’t believe that education matters.
Where scripted television and reality television shows center around over abundance and being successful without the hard work, kids and teens think this is the norm. With teen celebrities dressing, acting, partying, tweeting and putting themselves out there for the whole world to see, it influences the naïve. Some teens honestly believe that they can make it big by doing a reality TV show or being part of ‘get rich quick’ idea. What our students are exposed to on a daily basis directly reflects their lack of motivation in school.
Having cell phones and iPads, watching reality TV isn’t bad. But it’s all about how you handle these technology tools and the messages being delivered from television. It’s ultimately up to the parents --and why not teachers, to help and guide their child through their educational career. No one can tell you how to raise your child but there are ways you can keep your child in school and on a path for success. Options you can take are setting guidelines, limits and rules on technology usage. Sitting down with your child and actually communicating about societies messages can help them in their future.
So turn off the TV and tweet, text, messages on Facebook and have your student sit down for a good conversation. It’s not the students fault that there are distractions and certain beliefs being thrown at them via media. They grew up in a time where texting is the norm and young celebrities posting photos of themselves doing drugs is acceptable. Help them and guide them. Bring them back to what a real student should be doing; preparing for the real world with valuable educational and real life lessons. Help your student become a kid again.
(*) Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, and Babysitting, find a nanny tips etc. You can reach her at nancy.parker015 AT gmail DOT com.