The Cyber Effect: Who are we-and who are we becoming in the cyber-world?

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair is not only a Clinical Psychologist, but also a speaker, consultant and recognizable author. She advocates largely on the effects of technology; specifically its impact on developing children as they grow and learn. Steiner-Adair guides parents towards  avoiding the negative risks that media and technology imposes on their children. When I came across her website, I briefly read about her and found it interesting that she  had  visited over 500 schools in the US and abroad, and was speaker at many conferences throughout world.  After reading about Dr. Steiner-Adair I begin to form that conclusion that Dr. Steiner-Adair is definitely strong about her opinion about the use of technology in developing children.

Although she does not fully  condemn technology- she still is not all for it, but does makes the realization that it can serve for some benefits. Personally, I begin to differ with Dr. Steiner-Adair as I believe technology is not at all that bad for developing children. Granted, if technology is used or exposed to children in a negative way it can cause problems- however I can argue that there are numerous ways that technology is beneficial for children- as it provides a clarity and gives children a strong visual when learning and developing skills. After I read about Dr. Steiner-Adair overall opinions from her home website, I thought it might be good to read an article of hers. I clicked on the BLOG link on her website- and came across an article written by Dr. Steiner-Adair: Who are we – and who are we becoming- in the cyber-world?  At first glance I thought this would be again her opinion on use of technology in children- although it does have her opinion- Dr. Steiner-Adair references author Mary Aiken throughout her commentary. Mark Aiken is a leading forensic psychologist, known for her inspiration in CSI:Cyber.  Aiken shares similar views with Dr. Steiner-Adair, and even claims the scariest threat within the internet world is ourselves. I became intrigued, a little confused, and a little bit hesitant about this generalization.

I continued to read on, and Dr. Steiner-Adair makes bold claims and noteworthy points throughout her article referencing Aiken’s book The Cyber Effect.  I could relate with many of the claims, but I felt these were more geared towards teenagers, and young adults- rather than developing children- as I believe technology serves as a good purpose in teaching. I agree with Dr. Steiner-Adair- that the internet can serve as  fake friendship- as once a connection with someone online is initiated, theres no visual or face-to face reaction- but trust that the person who they claim to be is accurate. That is why internet safety should be present in introducing technology to developing children- and also learning of social skills outside from technology. The rest of the articles continues on about the dangers of the web- and although I agree, I wish Dr. Steiner-Adair shared more positive aspects of the prevalence of technology-rather than all the dangers and problems it can cause. Overall I found this beneficial, but lacking in ways of solutions-and technology benefits.

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One thought on “The Cyber Effect: Who are we-and who are we becoming in the cyber-world?

  1. Absolutely cyber-bullying exists (and fake friendships and whatever else), but the Internet is not going anywhere, so shouldn’t we be teaching children how to recognize/handle danger and harness the good instead?

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