Monday, May 23, 2011

'I Need To Blog!'

If we don’t teach our children to be alone, they will always be lonely.” This was one of those statements that, when Sociologist Sherry Turkle uttered it, I thought I could have said that! Turkle’s symposium talk offered more of the same …. glimpses of the obvious, but nevertheless insights and observations of great significance that most of us, unfortunately, seem to be ignoring or just not ‘getting’.
In this particular statement, Turkle was referring to a conclusion from her research on technology and relationships - research which has given her data showing our increased dependency on social media, and its adverse affect on our relationship skills. And she is not just talking about youngsters, but parents – all of us - too.
We parents and adults are examples to our children not only in our demonstration of how to use for instance texting, but in our relationship with our children when we text while they are talking to us, use the cell phone while we are eating together, text during a family movie, or while we’re assisting with homework, etc. etc. etc. Long story short, the phone and social media are losing their previously proportionate place in our lives, as we now increasingly have the need to ‘connect’ every few minutes. The technological advances that have given us so much freedom and other value are now also beginning to ‘take over’ in unhealthy ways. Turkle is not against technology or social media per se, she just advocates putting it in proper perspective. I second that, adding that this might mean just being more mindful about how we use it...............
How do we know when it’s NOT mindful, when it’s unhealthy? In the interest of ‘keeping it brief’ I again refer to Ms Turkle, who clarified by concluding that we – and our children – used to have thoughts such as, ‘I feel …..(fill in the space) so I want to make a call.” Now however, we are more likely to be driven by the (often unconscious) thought; “I want to feel ……, I need to text.” (Not quite as healthy, I think.)
On hearing her conclusion, I had the thought, “I feel she’s right – I need to Blog.” 
Trying to be mindful however, I got my priorities in order, completed my move to the UK(!), and now I'm blogging again :-)
Thanks for your patience!!!

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