EFFECTS OF GADGET-FREAK PARENTS ON THEIR CHILD

Cropped man and woman using electronic device free image

The dictionary meaning of gadget freak is a person who obsessively buys the latest fashionable electronic or computer equipment, even when they have no practical use for it.

Simply put gadget freaks love, love, love gadgets and gizmos. They feel compelled to buy gadgets even if they don’t need them; such is their obsession with the latest gadgets. They often upgrade to a new phone from an old one. They love to buy the latest laptop, camera or TV in the market. It should not come as a surprise to you if you find a couple of headsets, earphones, Bluetooth devices, pen drives, external hard disks in their computer table drawer. They want the latest and as the word “freak” suggests, they go nuts over the latest, cool gadgets.

So far the story seems alright. But what happens when such a gadget freak is a parent. What effect will this obsession with gadgets have on their children? How will the children perceive their parent’s crazy addiction to devices?

Men are more gadget freaks than women. Though, recent reports suggest that trends are changing and women too are becoming tech savvy. But, in our society where mostly men are breadwinners, the addiction of buying gadgets is more prevalent in fathers than mothers. The influence of a gadget freak parent may not be a positive one.

Negative Impact:

  • The parent will always think of saving more money to be able to buy a new gizmo than to redo the interiors of the house or plan a family vacation. Now that’s not good planning. Children may imbibe similar addiction to gadgets and will choose to push back the needs of the family to satisfy their obsession.
  • Gadget freak parent will spend more time on gadgets than on his/her kids. They will be engrossed in researching, buying, using and discussing the gadgets, while the kids hanker for their attention.
  • A gadget freak parent’s style of spending time with the kid is –“involve the kid in your obsession”. So the parent and child hold their respective PSP3 controllers and play together quite often. Great! ….No, it’s not a great thing if it’s happening often; they are making their child a gaming addict and snatching away from him the pleasure of playing outdoors. They are making him do what they like and not what he likes.
  • A gadget freak partner whose passion for gadgets has become a gripping obsession can be a reason for a marital discord, especially if the partner is draining out lots of money on gadgets. No child would like to witness his parents fight over love for gadgets!

Positive Impact:

So much for the negatives, now a few positives about a gadget freak parent. These positives though are applicable if the tech-junkie knows how to balance his passion and the responsibilities of family life.

  • The kids benefit from the knowledge of their cool, gadget freak parent who can educate them about the latest gizmos and gadgets. They can then brag about their knowledge in school.
  • The kids get to use their parent’s older device, as soon as the parent buys a new one.
  • Kids love gadgets, especially boys. If a gadget freak parent spends some time with his kids talking about technology and gadgets, it’s good because this way they get to spend some good time together and kids can further use this knowledge in making some projects at school.

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