Negative Effects Of Overuse Of Electronic In ‘The Veldt’
Ray Bradbury does a good job at depicting the negative effects of overuse of electronics and how it can change the bond between parents and children. In the short story The Veldt, the parents create a tv room, the Nursery, that changes with what the children want to see. The children become distant and secretive. The parents care less and less about what the children are up to until it’s too late. The electronic house slowly took over the family’s life until it actually took their lives. In the end the children become more attached to the Nursery than to their parents. Technology became the most important thing to this family.
In many of Ray Bradbury’s works, he talks about technology and how it can damagingly affect people. In Revenge of the Nerd: It’s Ray Bradbury’s Future–We’re Just Living in It, Daniel Flynn talks about how Ray Bradbury went from classic nerd to well-known writer. Flynn discusses “a four-eyed, zit-faced, bully bull’s-eye” young Ray Bradbury fighting against nerds’ greatest toy, technology (38). McGaveron says that Bradbury, “is not simply attacking technology in general or even electronic mass communication in specific” (246). This is an interesting point because in many of Bradbury’s works, he talks about technology corrupting peoples minds. McGiveron then discusses how Bradbury is unable to support his claim that people abandon their own thoughts because of the effect technology has on them (246). People via the internet can make other people feel certain ways, but technology does not have a conscious mind so it cannot make someone feel something they don’t already believe. In The Veldt, George said, “too much of anything isn’t good for anyone” and too much technology definitely isn’t good for anyone (Bradbury 4). Though Ray Bradbury does a good job of showing ways technology causes problems, he doesn’t explain ways to fix the worlds technology addiction. Just about everyone has access to the internet in some way. Children are the most vulnerable to overusing technology and it can affect them in negative ways. Parents can also abuse the perks of technology doing everything for them. Television and cellphones are an unhealthy addiction because they are so convenient. In today’s world most everyone has their nose in an electronic, and when small children are it can cause big issues. Children watch tv or play video games and parents stay inside and don’t interact with their kids.
Technology has caused some parents to be lazy or ignore their children. “The fear of missing out” has become a role in most kid’s lives (Alt and Boniel-Nissim 3392). This means exactly what it sounds like, extreme use of social media, which makes it easier for constant insight into what other people are doing. Several studies have demonstrated the way that parents and children interact may affect the child mentally and cause them to feel that they need to stay connected with other through social media and the internet.
This overuse/abuse of technology can cause psychological symptoms among children, for example, “insomnia, depression, low life satisfaction, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive–compulsiveness (OCD), anxiety, and many other mental health issues” (Alt and Boniel-Nissim 3394). If parents are wrapped up in their phones and the children are left alone to raise themselves on the technology and the internet, poor mental health goes unnoticed and doesn’t get proper treatment. Without proper guidance or attention children will seek it out from the internet, which is not always a great place. This can lead to improper social interactions and a lack of human connection. To be a ‘functioning person’ in society you need social skills, and if children are not even connecting to their family then they definitely will not have the understanding to make connections with strangers. Mental health has also become a big issue in today’s society. People have more mental health issues than ever before, but because nobody is paying attention to everyone else in the real world nothing is being done to correct these issues. People have two lives, they have the real world and they have the life they created for social media. Online life has become more important.
In “Parent–Adolescent Communication and Problematic Internet Use: The Mediating Role of Fear of Missing Out (FoMO)”, authors show the reasons why phones and electronics are more attractive to adolescents for “short-term benefits even if the risk is high” (Alt and Boniel-Nissim 3394). Short-term benefits are being able to access the internet where ever you are, but the high risk is being addicted to technology, i.e. smartphones. The parent and child bond slowly disappears and is replaced with a child’s dependence on technology, which causes social connections to be difficult. In the article, the authors use a study of parenting and family relationships conducted to assess parent problematic technology use, “Participants included mothers and fathers from 183 couples with a young child” (McDaniel and Radesky 102). When the data was analyzed the authors noticed that when both mother and father abused technology around the children it caused the children to become closed off and internalize their behavior. Though the study showed that children were more likely to externalize their negative behavior toward the mother rather than the father when ignored.
Children are more susceptible to become addicted to electronics, adults are just as vulnerable to becoming dependent of technology. Kids require supervision and because of technology, they aren’t getting the attention that they need or want. In The Veldt, the children lose their empathy towards their parents. Due to the lack of attention from their parents they began to act out. The children become totally dependent on their electronic nursery. When the parents threaten to turn the nursery off the kids lure their parents into a trap and have them killed. In the short story, Ray Bradbury briefly touched on the idea off unplugging. Unplugging is an easy way to get away from technology and interact with the real world.
The way that parents and children interact may affect the child mentally and cause them to feel that they need to stay connected with other through social media and the internet. In other words, children who understands that their parents care for them and trust that they will be given proper attention are less motivated to abuse technology and depend on the internet. The children or adult technology abuse effects the mother/child bond more noticeably than it effects the father/child bond. After bringing together a series of examples, the authors claim that, “poor mother–child relationships were more significantly associated with internet addiction than poor father–adolescent relationships” (Alt and Boniel-Nissim 3396). It is also possible that children simply spent more time with their mothers on a daily basis. Addiction is a hard topic for people to discuss out loud. Technology addiction isn’t often talked about or even believed to be an actual problem. Children are not mature enough to understand hostile effects related to excessive use of technology and they are more likely to be hooked to electronics. Parents are also promoting use of technologies without thinking about the ill-effects of it because it’s an easy way to distract the children and not have to deal with them. “Technology addiction is labeled, when the use is beyond the control and causing harm or impairment” (Agarwal and Kar 171). In today’s world the use of technology is essential to make the life’s task easier; however, it’s unusual, excessive, pointless use leads to addiction and makes life more difficult. Many studies have been done to see how different families handle technology and Zero To Three and the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommend “unplugged family time, it has not yet been tested whether manipulating digital technology use during parent–child activities leads to improvements in child behavior” (McDaniel and Radesky 107). George told his family that he was going to turn the smart house off and they would, “live sort of a happy family existence” (Bradbury 8). After George threatened to take away the house the children started to act out, Peter began to talk about how he wouldn’t be able to out his shoes on or dress or even brush his teeth without the house to do it for him. Studies have not yet proven that unplugging will reverse the negative effects of technology addiction, but it also couldn’t hurt to try.
- Alt, Dorit, and Meyran Boniel-Nissim. “Parent–Adolescent Communication and Problematic Internet Use: The Mediating Role of Fear of Missing Out (FoMO).” Journal of Family Issues, vol. 39, no. 13, Sept. 2018, pp. 3391–3409, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0192513X18783493
- Agarwal, Vivek, and Sujit Kumar Kar. “Technology Addiction in Adolescents.” Journal of Indian Association for Child & Adolescent Mental Health, vol. 11, no. 3, July 2015, pp. 170–174. EBSCOhost, earch.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=103663087&site=eds-live&scope=site.
- Bradbury, Ray, and Gary Kelley. The Veldt. Mankato, Minn: Creative Education, 1987. Print. Flynn, Daniel J. “Revenge of the Nerd: It’s Ray Bradbury’s Future–We’re Just Living in It.” The American Conservative, no. 1, 2012, p. 38. EBSCOhost, libproxy.ggc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=congale2&AN=edsgcl.281790240&site=eds-live&scope=site.
- McDaniel, Brandon T., and Jenny S. Radesky. “Technoference: Parent Distraction With Technology and Associations With Child Behavior Problems.” Child Development, vol. 89, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 100–109. EBSCOhost, http://libproxy.ggc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=tfh&AN=127335229&site=eds-live&scope=site
- McGiveron, Rafeeq O. ‘What ‘Carried the Trick’? Mass exploitation and the decline of thought in Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451.’.’ Extrapolation, vol. 37, no. 3, 1996, p. 245+. Literature Resource Center, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A18884233/LitRC?u=ggcl&sid=LitRC&xid=3dde26c3. Accessed 3 Apr. 2019.
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