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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: No time to ponder

Posted November 8, 2015

Have you ever been with a group of people when someone has a question that no one knows the answer to and suddenly everybody's phones are out and they're Googling? I confess, I'm guilty of this.

"What does 'surfeit' mean?"

"What is the population of China?"

"What do you think the temperature will be Thursday?"

"What's the best way to get to the restaurant?"

I would venture to say this knee-jerk process is repeated many times a week in most of our lives, including our children's. Before we even have a second to ponder the answer, it is given to us or them. It's almost like it's a race to see who can find the answer first.

We did not grow up this way. We had to think about questions, roll them around in our minds and discuss possible answers. I'm concerned that our children are not getting an opportunity to do this. With the answers to so many questions at their fingertips, how will they learn to think critically and to problem-solve?

Maybe, even more importantly, will they be given the space and time to do this in a world where everyone wants answers immediately? Don't get me wrong. Technology is an incredible tool. It has made us more efficient and able to do so many things that we could have never dreamed of when we were children. But it's imperative that we don't allow it to think for us.

So, maybe the next time one of my kids asks me a question that I know can be easily answered by my iPhone, I might just say: "Well, what do you think? Let's talk about it. "

Put your phone down and turn your brain up.

Amanda is a mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

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  • Marsha Smith Nov 9, 2015
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    Hey Amanda: My Daddy was a world class ponderer. As such, I have inherited a lot of his tendency to ponder. However, I have reached the advanced age of 59 and also sustained a TBI 7 years ago that has affected my memory. In the past, if I wanted to know something and I was positively sure I didn't know the answer, I would ask my husband because he always knew the answers to things except jewelry. Now that he has passed away, Google has turned into my best friend. If I see something that looks familiar but I can't place it, I make myself let it roll around in my mind for awhile and it usually comes up. If I don't know the answer to something, like how to fix something now that I am alone, I sometimes try to figure it out myself and have a lot of the time been right (small things). However, sometimes I'm too irritated to figure it out myself and just ask Google.