How Technology Affects Children

Hannah Auger’s article, “The IOT for Kids: How Technology Affects Our Children,” explores some specific pros and cons of our increasingly technological world. She explains that what it really comes down to is parenting, not the technology itself, which I think is a very valid claim. The pros she discusses are its uses for educating children and keeping watch over them and her cons are that it enables helicopter parents to go to extremes and that it makes children less able to interpret emotion. She uses specific products and studies to support her claims.

I think it’s interesting that Auger puts so much responsibility on the parents. A lot of the arguments I hear are entirely attacking the children and their laziness, but Auger brings attention to the fact that parenting plays a heavy role in how children interact with their technology.

I think this could be an interesting topic to explore but I also fear that I won’t be able to find very many valid arguments because I feel like a lot of the arguments in this topic revolve heavily around emotions and that people are unlikely to change their stance. I think that technology shouldn’t be demonized as heavily as it sometimes is and I hope to be able to find more articles agreeing with me (and using valid claims to back this up).

Removing Fluoride From Water

My article, “Machias to consider removing fluoride from water,” is about a municipality in Maine that is soon going to vote on whether or not to continue fluoridating water. The vast majority of the state (and the country, as far as I know) fluoridates their water and, as the author says, is supported by credible organizations such as the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization. The only reason this is being put to a vote now is because there is a vocal minority that thinks that fluoridation is incredibly bad for you.

The audience for this article is likely intended to be Maine voters because that’s who the issue affects. The author provides the facts of the situation and sort of allows the reader to take their own stance based on the information at hand and doesn’t have much credibility besides being a reporter on the topic (which is probably about as much credibility I will have when I write my PRE). However, all the facts provided seem to indicate that fluoride is beneficial and that the people who disagree are crazy and just looking for something to get mad about. I’ll have to do more research into the actual effects of fluoride in order to see who’s more accurate, but my current stance is that fluoridation is beneficial. I also think this because my mother works in a dental office and that’s her stance, so perhaps I could use that connection to give myself more credibility.

“Okay at Any Size”

Dr. David Katz (who provides ethos with his expertise as a medical doctor) discusses the movement of fat acceptance┬áin his article “Why I Can’t Quite Be Okay With ‘Okay at Any Size‘”. His audience appears to be people who support the “healthy at any size” movement. He talks about how adamantly he approves of the sentiment that people should not be demonized for being fat, but goes on to say that when someone’s weight is harmful to their health, they should not be encouraged to stay the same or even get worse. He uses lots of stats and hard facts to describe the increasingly unhealthy situation people are facing, referencing increased occurrences of diabetes and strokes. He uses hypotheticals too; he says that if we stay on the path we are currently, children are going to be facing health risks at even younger ages.

I think Katz’s argument is very effective. He knows his audience. By commenting that be believes weight does not equate worth, he is acknowledging his audience’s most fundamental belief. However, his facts about health give his audience a look into the valid downsides of “healthy at any size.” I agree with the author and want to further explore the effects of various media on body image and health.