Letters from Dad: Technology can remind you we are blessed

By: Christopher Persley
Fatherhood advocate, The Brown Gothamite, hopes his daughter will embrace technology and humanity as she grows older
Letters from Dad: “Technology can remind you we are blessed”

Dear Camilla,

As you might have noticed, I am a fan of many forms of technology. Although I have heard numerous parents discuss their disdain for technology and have decided not to expose their children to devices like tablets or smartphones, I remain convinced that these devices as well as others are much more of an asset than a liability. So, I have decided to write this as a way to explain exactly what technology means to me.

In honor of Father’s Day, we asked three notable bloggers to pen a letter to their kids about technology.

I realize that it's difficult for me to think of technology without thinking of you. Perhaps I should explain. Technology is being able to share your birth with dozens of friends and family within minutes of your arrival. It's being able to look at pictures of you and document my life with you in my blog.

I view technology as a helpful tool in your development. I love looking for useful and fun apps that can aid your reading and writing. Others let you create digital art. I can even expose you to digital instruments to develop your own music and share those sick beats with friends.

Technology is Googling the songs you are singing in your end-of-the-year school performance when you want to rehearse the songs at home. Speaking of music, technology is having quick and easy access to my vast music library. You have become a fan of Stevie Wonder, Adele, Earth, Wind & Fire, and others thanks in large part to this access. These are all great complements to your current toys, what your mom and I offer you as parents, and what you do in school.

It's been so wonderful to see you embrace technology. It has already given you access to two of your idols whose talent inspires you: ballerina Misty Copeland and WNBA All-star Skylar Diggins. Without Twitter, you would not have been able to share videos that drew the attention and appreciation of these amazing women.

I believe you will one day find technology even more impactful.

The use of technology can remind you we are blessed.

It affords you the opportunity to learn about and aid the less fortunate across the globe. Technology lets us speak about issues we care about and share those thoughts with the world. I can't wait to see you redefine technology as you continue your maturation.

One of my favorite writers is the legendary Ray Bradbury. Bradbury wrote several works of fiction that were not so subtle cautionary tales. In these works, he warned of an "over" reliance on technology. What can't happen is a loss of our humanity. The key is a balanced approach. Personally, I will never use it to replace my parenting, nor should you use it to completely replace interacting with human beings. That's unacceptable. So, I end with this, Camilla. Continue to find ways to use technology in a variety of helpful and thoughtful forms.




Christopher Persley is a former independent school educator and administrator who is now a writer, consultant, and fatherhood advocate. He writes the blog, The Brown Gothamite, which focuses on his journey as an at-home father. Christopher has appeared on national television, print media, and several websites discussing fatherhood. He somehow finds time to also work as both Co-organizer of NYC Dads Group and Father Focus Lead for the Center for Parental Leave Leadership. Christopher loves having adventures with his five-year-old daughter Camilla, a.k.a. Courageous Kid, in New York City. His wife, Jenelle, enjoys being the spouse and mother to these two aspiring superheroes.