“Raising Millenials in the Digital Age”: Is the Future Progressive or Alarming?

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With Pia Desai Pasricha, COO Comma Consulting PR & Admin, Mommy A-Z Facebook Group

A Google search defines “millenials” as people reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century; a category I fall into. Being a millennial with a one and a half year old son has presented challenges that earlier generations never faced. Technology and its inherent problems can’t be ignored, but where does one draw the line? A panel discussion on “Raising Millenials in the Digital Age” perfectly answered these and other queries.

The event was organized by the Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO) and was sponsored by Ansal University. It took place at The Lalit hotel, Barakhamba Road. The distinguished panelists included Ankhi Das (Public Policy Director, Facebook, India), Kalli Purie (Vice Chairperson, India Today Group), Saket Modi (Ethical Hacker, Co Founder and CEO, Lucideus), and Vanita Uppal (Director, The British School, New Delhi). The Moderator was Rajiv Makhni (Group Managing Editor, Tech NDTV) and the Event Chair was Sheetal Ansal, Trustee, Ansal University.

In my opinion, Ms. Uppal was the most enigmatic speaker. Having dealt with hundreds of children over the years, she believes in harnessing technology to enhance a child’s mental development. Ms. Das and Ms. Puri work in the field of social media and are raising millenials of their own. They brought a hands-on perspective to the discussion. Mr. Modi was the youngest on the panel, a millennial himself. He was a fantastic example of the positive impact technology can have on one’s life. Mr. Makhni played devil’s advocate with aplomb, constantly challenging all the panelists with his probing questions.

Each person offered an interesting perspective. Ms. Das pointed out that the preceding generations grew up in an age of “information poverty”. Ms. Puri felt many parents are not aware of how to correctly monitor their children’s use of technological devices. Ms. Uppal urged for a responsible technological training of children through a collaborative effort of teachers and parents. Mr. Modi emphasized that educational institutions often don’t provide the correct technological training to children, leading to irresponsible usage. However, all panelists agreed on the importance of achieving a balance between the virtual and real world.

IMG_4546All the panelists. From Left: Saket Modi, Anchal Sethi (Chairperson YFLO), Sheetal Ansal, Kalli Puri, Vanita Uppal, Ankhi Das and Rajiv Makhni

The audience consisted of dignitaries from the field of education, parents of varying age groups, and students from eminent schools of Delhi. The session kept everyone engaged throughout, with thought provoking questions, and audience votes on various issues. The information shared was not ground-breaking, but the ideas and opinions of the panelists ensured an engaging afternoon.

Coffee and tea were served before the session began, and a lavish buffet lunch afterwards. Goodie bags, consisting of sweet treats made by the Hotel Management students of Ansal University, were also handed out. The event was very well-organised and went off without a glitch.

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I belong to a generation that witnessed the transition of technology taking over our lives. Therefore, I’m aware of the challenges. I can disconnect when I need to, but the generation succeeding mine is born into an all-encompassing technological environment. For them technology and social media are akin to eating, sleeping and breathing. Our children will deal with future problems only if we guide them correctly. Technology should be treated as a handy tool, not a crutch. As Ms. Uppal pointed out- what children need is our unconditional love, an open channel of communication, and to be taught that failure is not the end of the world.

Event Rating: 3.8/5

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