jago25_98
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Kids computer addiction

Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:46 pm

I remember fondly getting my first computer. A commodore.

This led to many great experiences. In particular I became a bit of a geek and really as nerds we now pretty much rule the world! That is, the world now is an incredible place for a geek. I see people like Elon Musk and Eric Schmidt. I see it as accepted now whereas before it had more an element of social stigma.

Now I'm at a stage with kids, though not my own yet.
I want to share my passion.

But as soon as we introduce a tablet, laptop, pi, anything, the kid starts using it 24/7 and gets addicted. So parents etc bar all access to anything electronic.
While I can understand a parent getting worried watching a kid using a tablet for 5 hours without a break...
It means I can't share my passion and I really feel the kid is missing out.
I'm programming illiterate and this is definitely a big disadvantage these days, as much as it would be to not be able to use a pen.

What to do?

SonOfAMotherlessGoat
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:19 am

In some cases it doesn't stifle innovation, it increases it. My parents thought I was spending too much time SysOp'ing a BBS I had set up. So they locked the case (back in the days of the 386/486 where the cases had a little barrel key that just basically jumpered a header on the mobo. So that lead me to find out that if you took the case off the computer, and pulled the lock leads from the mobo, you got everything back again.

Now many many years later my parents got into the computer world and understood the passion and joined in on the fun. So spend time with the kids and learn with them. Set reasonable boundaries, but the best way to know what it is that they are doing, is to do it along with them!
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Heater
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:44 pm

Just lock them in their rooms with a bunch of Pi and other machines. Slide pizza under the door a couple of times a day.

Eventually they will escape and go an work for Facebook, Google or some such.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jago25_98
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:25 am

I like it heater, great comment :D

Both of you though I feel not really facing everything about this common situation.
I had a chance to think about it a bit more, comparing my own life and what I've done.

When I was a kid I was big into computers at a time when they weren't in use like they were today. I'd use them to do graphic design, maker music, play some games. But most of all I liked messing with the systems themselves.
Thing is... with all this sitting around I found at university I preferred to do something else. I had to sit around for studying. Eventually I moved to the working world and this involved more sitting around using computers. Then, later on I found that pretty much everything can be achieved online. More sitting around.
After all this I didn't want to do more sitting around playing with linux. I first went with Ubuntu and eventually waned off of the interest in the main, moving to sport. Still taking an interest in technology in my spare time but for the most part I don't do stuff online as much as I used to.

Using computers is a bit unhealthy. Sitting around ain't healthy. I like to move. I guess this is the problem. I love to play with tech but the sitting isn't fun.

There is an element of addiction. I first accepted it to myself when I realised I needed 2 hours warmup on Counter-Strike, and 3+ hours a day to be good enough to own a server or 2. That same feeling comes both with the internet and with computers in general. The difference now is that apart from checking my phone too much... it's pretty much in check.... I think.

I wouldn't want a kid to be addicted in this way. What's addicted verves healthy passion?
Addicted would be rolling over after just waking up and checking reddit. Addicted would be getting annoying when you've tweaked the heck out of your linux setup and now you're just looking for something else to change even now everything is perfect.
I think the main thing is that a passion is constructive whereas an addition is a problem. They're pretty much the same thing it's just that addiction puts important things into the background; like eating and sleeping in a Starcraft game.

So what I have to teach if I'm to share this passion with kids, is how to make sure we're looking after ourselves and important stuff while we're enjoying our passions. And/or making those passions our job so we aren't competing for this at work.

I don't work in IT.... I didn't like it because I wanted to be outside and on my feet working, moving around. So I went into Geology. I now do more operational and tech stuff related to surveys.

So I understand what parents are talking about when they got a kid on a tablet for 3,4,5 hours a day getting sick from no exercise. But also I know it's a lot of fun.
How do we live with tech and stay healthy?

ejolson
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:45 am

jago25_98 wrote:How do we live with tech and stay healthy?
Pokémon Go?

http://www.medicaldaily.com/pokemon-go- ... fit-392304

http://www.avclub.com/article/pokemon-g ... exe-239378

Heater
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:01 am

Well, I was making light of the situation.

Whatever happened to parental control. You know, rules?

When I was a kid the same was said about the dangers of kids sat glued to the television their every waking minute. I was prone to do that myself.

On the other hand, the four sisters of our neighbors had no such problem. There was no TV in the house as they grew up. If they wanted to watch something they had to visit their grandfather up the road and ask permission to watch for an hour or so.

The flip side of such prohibitions is that parents then have to provide something else to exercise the minds of their children. In my case I was forever tinkering with electronics kits, chemistry sets, model air planes, meccano and so on. There was plenty enough to keep my mind off the TV.

Oh, poop, forget it. Kids can't even build stuff with meccano anymore without a mobile phone : http://www.meccano.com/watch?vid=31
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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r3d4
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:15 am

...computer addiction?

at least its not ritalin ( most common medication for ADHD ) !

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:41 pm

Heater wrote:Just lock them in their rooms with a bunch of Pi and other machines. Slide pizza under the door a couple of times a day.

Eventually they will escape and go an work for Facebook, Google or some such.
That's a friendlier version of Karen Anderson's (widow of SF author Poul Anderson) "bung hole" theory of raising kids. Put them in a barrel until they're 18, then check on them. If they're okay, let them out. Otherwise, drive in the bung. I should note that the Anderson's daughter (Astrid...named after Poul's mother) is a very nice person with three fine kids of her own.

On the more general issues in this thread, I have a Pi3B set up up next to my desk for my 8-year-old grandson. He plays Minecraft Pi, uses Tux Paint, reads webcomics, and I've been working through an introductory book on Scratch with him. I had to sit him down one day and carefully explain that it is *his* computer. *He* gets to decide if others can use and doesn't have to get permission to use it himself. I think having full control of his own computer is important, and in the unlikely case that he manages to kill it (either physically or the software), I'll fix or replace as needed (but I don't think he knows that).

As a side note...there was an article is the SF Chronicle yesterday (7 Aug. 2016) about an effort to educate people of all ages to use computers being run in predominantly black churches. The adults get lessons at the beginning of Bible study sessions. The kids get coding instruction classes. The effort is to get minorities a leg up into tech and especially get the younger ones a chance to go into tech careers. One kid was quoted as saying that she doesn't have a computer at home. Her family used to, but the parents sold it. Nary a word about Pis, though.

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FrankA
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:28 am

I share the opinion that there’s some kind of problems nowadays when children become addicted to modern technologies. Actually having a computer means a lot of opportunities such as educational purposes, entertainment or exploring something new. But at the same time it may become a threat if you misuse it. On the whole, it depends on a person who determines the purpose of the use. As for children and their addiction, this is the fault of their parents. Of course, it’s easier to give a laptop for a child allowing him to do everything he wants. But may be the best variant is to start to bring up the children spending time together, learning something new and discussing different issues. So if you’re a responsible person and parent you’ll do it. If not, you will become a reason for your child’s addiction.

Heater
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:15 am

When we say "computer addiction" what actually do we mean?

Could be spending inordinate amount of time playing games.

Or messing with facebook or whatever social media kids use now a days.

Or is it actually being creative? Learning to program for example. Or using the machine for some artistic or musical pursuit?

Nobody is addicted to computers as such. But a computer can be so many different things.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Koeshi
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:42 am

I think some people talking about the need to limit a kid's time with a computer are forgetting that for some of us (and I assume on here, many of us) computer were a haven/safe place when growing up. I don't know how I would have got through school without one. It was how I spent my free time either banging against a school firewall or digging through endless pages of the Windows OS just to see what would happen when I changed things. It was where I would go to talk to friends, to learn, read the news, discover new things and just generally enjoy myself. By all means limit access to braindrains like facebook and the like, if they really want to be on there they will find a way around and learn in the process. But limiting access to computers themselves is just wrong in my opinion.

All that said I can accept not wanting kids to be using tablets as they are just gimmicks with little value and don't encourage users to think for themselves.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:55 pm

FrankA wrote:I share the opinion that there’s some kind of problems nowadays when children become addicted to modern technologies. Actually having a computer means a lot of opportunities such as educational purposes, entertainment or exploring something new. But at the same time it may become a threat if you misuse it. On the whole, it depends on a person who determines the purpose of the use. As for children and their addiction, this is the fault of their parents. Of course, it’s easier to give a laptop for a child allowing him to do everything he wants. But may be the best variant is to start to bring up the children spending time together, learning something new and discussing different issues. So if you’re a responsible person and parent you’ll do it. If not, you will become a reason for your child’s addiction.
Ever raised a child? As I've pointed out to any number of parents of very young children...you spend three years trying to get them to talk...and the next 15 trying to get them to shut up.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:00 pm

Koeshi wrote:I think some people talking about the need to limit a kid's time with a computer are forgetting that for some of us (and I assume on here, many of us) computer were a haven/safe place when growing up. I don't know how I would have got through school without one. It was how I spent my free time either banging against a school firewall or digging through endless pages of the Windows OS just to see what would happen when I changed things. It was where I would go to talk to friends, to learn, read the news, discover new things and just generally enjoy myself. By all means limit access to braindrains like facebook and the like, if they really want to be on there they will find a way around and learn in the process. But limiting access to computers themselves is just wrong in my opinion.

All that said I can accept not wanting kids to be using tablets as they are just gimmicks with little value and don't encourage users to think for themselves.
As I've noted previously..."parental control" software is a kind of intelligence test for kids. The smart/computer savvy ones will beat it. That's how you know that they understand the systems thy are using better than their parents do.

(Cynical? Me? Just a case having been mucking around with computers for over 50 years.)

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procount
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:00 pm

jago25_98 wrote:Using computers is a bit unhealthy. Sitting around ain't healthy. I like to move. I guess this is the problem. I love to play with tech but the sitting isn't fun.
Get kids interested in Geocaching. Technology (GPS, Smartphone) + exercise + problem solving (puzzles, web research) + family time + a whole lot of fun! (But that's a whole new addiction for some people!)
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Bernards
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:49 am

I have kids as well who already know how to use gadgets. To think that my daughters are only two and three years old I cannot deny that my children are really into those things.

But as a parent I know how to discipline them. Children should be using gadgets for 30 mins only maximum of one hour. Being so much exposed to gadgets may also affect their behaviors and mentality as a kid. Give them alternative things to play with. Introduce them those that we use to play as a child. Back to the days that we do not have gadgets and all that.

JamesPi123
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:04 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Heater wrote:Just lock them in their rooms with a bunch of Pi and other machines. Slide pizza under the door a couple of times a day.

Eventually they will escape and go an work for Facebook, Google or some such.
That's a friendlier version of Karen Anderson's (widow of SF author Poul Anderson) "bung hole" theory of raising kids. Put them in a barrel until they're 18, then check on them. If they're okay, let them out. Otherwise, drive in the bung. I should note that the Anderson's daughter (Astrid...named after Poul's mother) is a very nice person with three fine kids of her own.

On the more general issues in this thread, I have a Pi3B set up up next to my desk for my 8-year-old grandson. He plays Minecraft Pi, uses Tux Paint, reads webcomics, and I've been working through an introductory book on Scratch with him. I had to sit him down one day and carefully explain that it is *his* computer. *He* gets to decide if others can use and doesn't have to get permission to use it himself. I think having full control of his own computer is important, and in the unlikely case that he manages to kill it (either physically or the software), I'll fix or replace as needed (but I don't think he knows that).

As a side note...there was an article is the SF Chronicle yesterday (7 Aug. 2016) about an effort to educate people of all ages to use computers being run in predominantly black churches. The adults get lessons at the beginning of Bible study sessions. The kids get coding instruction classes. The effort is to get minorities a leg up into tech and especially get the younger ones a chance to go into tech careers. One kid was quoted as saying that she doesn't have a computer at home. Her family used to, but the parents sold it. Nary a word about Pis, though.
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DavidS
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Re: Kids computer addiction

Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:48 am

jago25_98 wrote:I remember fondly getting my first computer. A commodore.

This led to many great experiences. In particular I became a bit of a geek and really as nerds we now pretty much rule the world! That is, the world now is an incredible place for a geek. I see people like Elon Musk and Eric Schmidt. I see it as accepted now whereas before it had more an element of social stigma.

Now I'm at a stage with kids, though not my own yet.
I want to share my passion.

But as soon as we introduce a tablet, laptop, pi, anything, the kid starts using it 24/7 and gets addicted. So parents etc bar all access to anything electronic.
While I can understand a parent getting worried watching a kid using a tablet for 5 hours without a break...
It means I can't share my passion and I really feel the kid is missing out.
I'm programming illiterate and this is definitely a big disadvantage these days, as much as it would be to not be able to use a pen.

What to do?
Sounds more like an internet addiction than a computer addiction that is the problem.

If you provide the devices without access to the internet how do the kids react? It seems to me a more reasonable way to introduce kids to computing, once they do well with understanding how the systems work then can start allowing small short doses of internet access as the kids show responsible use of such a privilege, though not until the kid has been using the computers for a good number of years without ever having access to the internet (I would say at least 5 years of computer use without internet, maybe more depending on the tendencies of the particular child).
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