Icarus Descending
Technology, Kids, and Autonomy The War Against Imagination

In a classroom of five and six-year olds, I witness moments each day that vividly illuminate the tension and conflict within young minds struggling to understand their exposure to culture through mass media.

If survey data published in mainstream outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post are believed accurate, let’s consider the following: a television is on an average of nearly eight hours every day in US households, of which the average child watches 28 hours per week, viewing an average of 20,000 commercials per year. The imagery these numbers conjure is terrifying; any anti-authoritarian educational praxis (the combined process of action and reflection) must grapple with this fabricated reality or it is simply irrelevant. We’ll get to that later.