I look at my son and his relationship to technology, and I think back to when I was six and how wildly different the world is in that regard. I see him using an iPhone and all this stuff, and then I think back to when I was six. We didn't even have computers in our houses at all yet. This is a huge gap between our experiences as children.
I never really approach any project or story thinking of themes first or what a certain character 'represents.' Maybe other writers do, but for me, it just starts with the characters and a certain emotion I want to convey. It usually isn't until I get deeper into a book and look back a bit that I start to see the themes, etc.