Technology and Transcendentalism

Have you noticed fewer children when you look out your window? Do the kids that surround you prefer to stay inside rather than be in the fresh air? The introduction of technology has changed the way we look at the world, including the younger generations. However, is there such a thing as too much technology? Items such as cell phones, video games, TVs, and portable MP3 players are just a few of the products modern day children are more or less addicted to.

Kids aren’t even aware of the beliefs behind transcendentalism.

Society is going in the opposite direction of transcendentalist beliefs, which revolves around discovering ones self through the natural world. Children across the globe haven’t gained an appreciation for the outdoors and never will unless changes are made. One of the many negative effects of technology incorporates the increasing rate of obesity around the world, especially in children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2004, 16% of children (over 9 million) that are between the ages of 6-19 years old are overweight or obese, a number that has tripled since 1980!

It can be assumed that this is directly caused by the development of technology.

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Rather than being outside, kids are more interested in playing video games. They don’t see the value and beauty of nature. Children are becoming overweight from lack of activity and consuming “junk” food while watching TV, playing video games, or playing on the computer. According to a New York Times article, the average kid, ages 8-18, spends over 7 ? hours a day using technological gadgets equaling 2 ? hours of music, almost 5 hours of TV and movies, and three hours of internet and video games.

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It has been proven that the more technology in a child’s life, the worse grades they have. Therefore it’s obvious that children aren’t making time for their school work or school related activities. Also, teens and young-adults rely heavily on the internet for research and are losing their ability to apply previously obtained knowledge. This generation hasn’t experienced answering questions or writing an essay without help from their computers or smart phones. Children take the easy way out and simply “Google” the answer.

Transcendentalists value the use of one’s own ideas for self improvement, and not conforming to those around you. This is an important concept when looking at what these technology sources are teaching our children. When transcendentalism was first created in the 1800s, the idea of an “allied” family was created. In other words, a close, well-knit family was valued. With the expansion of scientific knowledge, comes less family time. The average parent spends three and a half minutes a week having meaningful conversations with their children, according to a survey reported by the A. C. Nielson Company.

These statistics are not just simple numbers; they are a reflection of where our technological society is heading. Parents seem to encourage their children to use the technology around them because it keeps the kids entertained. However, they don’t realize how much they are negatively affecting their child’s intellect and health. Even parents that don’t applaud the use of technology have a difficult time relating their children. Kids have a superior understanding of what’s happening in the world when it comes to technology, but adults are slowly gaining an understanding of things such as texting and Facebook.

On average, a six year old child is better at games like “Angry Birds” in comparison tot their grandparents. The difference is what is considered “ordinary” in the time a person is raised. This generation difference creates a gap between children and their parents and results in a weak family relationship, which is related to our technological advances. It’s apparent that technology is negatively affecting society, and transcendentalism is slowly fading from our knowledge.

If people began to fully or even partially commit to having transcendentalist values, the overall community would benefit. We would see more intelligent and healthier children, on top of a well-rounded population. The upcoming generations rely so much on technology. Technology, under no circumstances, should be a necessity, and should only be used occasionally, if ever. I believe that a return to the transcendentalist era can do nothing but help the community, and is vital in bringing back the importance of nature into the world’s youth.

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Technology and Transcendentalism. (2016, Dec 05). Retrieved from

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