A Call for Connection
Are our children being affected negatively by the online and social media presence in their lives? Due to the technological age we find ourselves in, it is all the more important to remember what true connection looks like. Through person-to-person contact we can avoid loneliness and feelings of isolation.
The other day it was brought to my attention how different things are for young people today versus when I was their age. I witnessed my teenage daughter’s heart break a little when she was not invited to a friend’s get together one evening. There were no valid reasons provided, except that the friend hosting did not want my daughter receiving any attention from the others who were invited. Although we had a nice and “hyggelig” evening together at home, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated at the exclusive behavior of my daughter’s friends, and it troubled me that not a single one spoke up to put a stop to this unfair treatment.
Unfortunately, there is nothing new in young people acting this way, however in the more superficial way of living we find ourselves in, it seems more brutal now than when I was that age. The difference is that children today are constantly spammed with snaps and streaks from those they are not physically with, where as in the eighties we weren’t aware of what everyone else was up to at all times. Today, young people are constantly updated and reminded of what they are not a part of.
Missing out on Meaning
Children and young people today are woven into a “friend-shopping” and “easy-to-pretend–easy-to-hide” culture, which is thriving off of the increasing interest and easy accessibility to an online life. A platform, which helps provide a vital lifeline for many of us, especially people unable to physically socialize as much as they would like to. With an online presence it is easy to add and subtract friends, making it far too simple to get away with shallow communication and relationships. Social media and online interactions have become the most common digital venues for meeting friends, and only 25% of teenagers actually spend physical time with friends in person outside of school on a daily basis. When I was a teenager, it was the opposite.
I think that the effect of this widespread online culture is much more worrying than we might like to fully acknowledge. I believe that having a sense of connection deeply rooted in your inner being improves the quality of our lives, and the rapid growth of our technological presence is resulting in us missing out on this. Call me old school, but although adding “friends” online might seem real and meaningful to many, it causes nothing but alarm for me.Read More