I had the honor of teaching this book in March and April for the Journey Adult Sunday School classes. I found it to be a good read overall that brings up a very key question: how does technology affect my children? The basis of the book can be summed up in the following sentence: “We are in the midst of a great experiment. No one knows how the use of techgear and digital media is affecting the mental and social development of iKids.” (iKids, p. 13)
From that idea of “we just don’t know”, the book starts into a conversation about how neither extreme (no techgear or 24/7 techgear) is healthy. Families need to talk about how techgear will be used within their family. The book gives a good basic lesson in developmental science to inform parents about how children’s brains develop and the impact technology can have on their brains. Once parents are armed with this basic knowledge, then they can start an informed decision of what role techgear will play in their child’s daily life.
The one negative aspect of this book for me is that Craig Miller can at times overemphasize the negative aspects of technology and then at the end of the chapter toss in a few positive sentences about technology. The view comes across that technology is more negative than positive in the eyes of the author. Personally, I believe technology is not evil or good but simply a tool to be used. The question comes back to: how are we as a family going to use this tool?
That question can only be answered by you and your family. The hope is that you will make wise and thoughtful decisions when it comes to technology and techgear. Through prayer, conversations with our kids, and gaining basic knowledge about the subject (like reading this book), parents can make the right choice for their families and their kids.
FYI, this is a conversation that is ongoing in my home. After reading this book, I had to take a look at my life and my use of techgear. What I found was that I needed to change how and when I use of my smartphone or tablet in order to model for my children a more responsible use of technology.
You can purchase the book at the following link.