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Role Reversal: An Effect Of Technological Advancement In The Article

1572 words - 6 pages

ROLE REVERSAL: AN EFFECT OF TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT In the article ?Children of the Information Age: A Reversal of Roles?, Edna Aphek pointed out several factors as well as points of view focusing on the ethical, social and educational impacts that technology has brought to our daily life. Doubtlessly, many of these impacts are not only vague, but they are also so well blending into our life that one at first may not realize them at all. One of these hard to pinpoint impacts is probably the child-adult role reversal.By stated, ?New means of information and communication have caused a radical shift in the role and status of children??, Edna Aphek started his article by comparing the four generations of children: his mother?s, his own and his own kids? and his grandkids?. To Aphek, the first three generations had been growing up in somewhat the same way with very little or no changes in how they learnt, how they responded to their living environment, and how they interacted with others. However, with the latest generation, which he referred to as the ?new children?, there are tremendous changes. He suggested these changes are directly resulted from numerous advances in technology, especially the evolution of the ?Information Age? (?The impact of technological inventions, especially those connected with information and communication, are far-reaching on socialization, ways of thinking, and modes of learning?) Upon introducing two diverse viewpoints from different people, Aphek emphasized these changes in roles of adults and children resulted from technological advancement are universal and inevitable, regardless whether these changes are considered as favorable or unfavorable, positive or negative. One of such viewpoints is from Neil Postman ??who think of the youth of the Information Generation as the children of television, computer games and video games [Neil Postman, The Disappearance of Childhood, 1982]. Postman's child is one who lost his childhood but never reached maturity. Postman describes a society in which children and adults watch the same movies and tele-romances (soap operas), listen to the same pop music, and play the same computer games.? In such a society, while the adults become more and more childish by trying to pursue the youth culture, the children become more and more mature by exploring the adult?s world. However, these kids are mature only externally but not emotionally. By unfolding the world of adulthood to their young ones, Postman suggests that the adult should control the content, the dosage and the timing of adulthood exposure to these children, or else the very essence of childhood will gradually disappear.As Aphek mentioned, Postman?s view of these changes in roles are negative and unfavorable because once ?the differentiating line between the child and adult becomes blurred, concepts that distinguish the adult from the child, such as independence and responsibility, become unclear too. Postman describes a society...


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