While watching football this past Sunday, viewers across the nation were presented with a commercial for a Google Nexus 7 Tablet. The commercial shows a boy who is nervous about giving a speech to his class and illustrates how the Nexus 7 helps him overcome his fear. He researches glossophobia, which is the fear of public speaking, then watches various videos of famous speeches. The commercial shows him doing this while seated on the sofa next to his mother, but she is in her own world. By the end of the commercial, the boy has conquered his fear and, in spite of braces and a rather unsightly haircut, has managed to deliver such an amazing speech that the pretty girl in his class smiles at him. He then starts researching how to ask a girl out on a date.
The commercial really demonstrates the many capabilities of the Nexus 7, and it shows how the tablet can help kids to learn what they need to know for school. However, by illustrating so many things that the tablet can do, the commercial also sends the message that parents do not need to bother working with their children through things like stage fright or other issues faced by adolescents.
With so many tablets, laptops, smartphones, and other devices on the market, most of which are relatively inexpensive, it is easy for parents to allow their kids to rely on technology, rather than on parental guidance. Kids are unlikely to object to using the technology, and in fact, they may prefer it to having to spend time with their parents, especially in their teen years.
Even so, parents are responsible for making sure that they keep the lines of communication open with their children. While technology is wonderful and should have a place in modern kids' lives, it is essential that parents take time to help their children learn about life through meaningful one-on-one conversations. Using a tablet to research a school topic is one thing, but when children find themselves facing major problems such as bullying, depression, or peer pressure, they need to be able to turn to their parents for help, rather than feeling as though the internet is their only resource.