Readers’ Forum Jan. 23, 2018

543
Maddy French
A study done by Common Sense Media in 2013 said that 70 percent of children age 8 use technology, which is a 38 percent raise since 2011. (Jack, Levi, and Nick Johnson)

Technology use

Teenagers spend too much time each day on technology (social media, video games, television, etc.); therefore, parents should more closely monitor how often their kids use technology. In a CNN article, a non-profit organization named Common Sense Media performed a study revealing that teenagers spend about nine hours a day using media.

Technology not only influences teenagers’ social abilities, but it also has a great effect on our health. Teenagers are sacrificing essential activities, such as exercise and sleep, to have more time on their devices. The average number of obese teenagers in the U.S. has aggrandized drastically over the past 30 years. One of these factors can be attributed to an increased use of technology.

To get teenagers to decrease their technology usage, parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives and become more active. We are losing the ability to interact with other human beings. With technology, we are like a chick embryo that never hatches. We stay protected in our shell, never gaining the opportunity to see the fantastic world where we live. We are losing sleep and gaining weight because of technology.

The answer is not to take away technology from teenagers (the opportunities that exist with technology are limitless) but to look at how long our teenagers and children are spending on technology each day. Certainly there is something a lot more useful and productive we could do with these nine hours.

Landon Thompson
Layton, Utah

Incentives

When LDS youth are asked what comes to mind with the words “Relief Society,” a typical response is “food.” LDS culture offers kids candy for participation in primary, luncheons for special occasions and refreshments for attendance at most gatherings.

At school, children are given candy or prizes for classroom participation and sometimes just for doing their homework. In sports, treats are provided for showing up to games, and the end of the season brings the shiny participation medal for bench-warmer and MVP alike.

This constant use of material incentives negatively impacts the expectations children have for life; therefore, the focus should be shifted to intangible rewards. When today’s youth look to start their careers, they will find that employers want self-motivated employees who will further the company’s success. Working just enough to earn a paycheck will not be enough. If kids are always taught to work for a material reward, their ability to work hard for the satisfaction work brings will not be cultivated.

To become the successful individuals they need to be, children should be taught to perform well academically out of the joy of acquiring knowledge, athletically for the satisfaction of a win well-earned and spiritually out of the desire for peace and fulfillment. Decreasing incentive use among the youth will help accomplish this. The occasional treat incentive is acceptable, but that is exactly how kids should start viewing rewards — as treats, not traditions.

Kelsie Westphal
Eagle Mountain, Utah

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