Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cyber Parents

This week, Whitney and I were talking to a woman who has opted out of the digital world. She closed down her Facebook account and feels that she is better off. “It’s awkward sometimes,” she admitted, “I don’t know as much about what is going on in people’s lives.”

It has caused her to be more committed to developing real, non-virtual relationships. “We’re going to be facing a whole wave of children with communication disorder,” she lamented. As children tweet and text their way through life, the ability to handle face to face communication will diminish.

Not all people will reach the same conclusion as our friend, but all believers should think carefully about why and how they interact with our cyber culture.  Our friend, fortunately, was savvy enough to realize the potential dangers of the digital world.  Many parents are clueless when it comes to the allure and danger of the cyber world. 

Dr. Mohler has some excellent insights into the problems parents face in his article, “The Dangerous Worlds of Analog Parents with Digital Teens.”


Charisa said...

Philip and I were on a dinner date just this past weekend. We often have fun trying to figure out the other couples around us at their tables based upon the amount of talking to do with each other. Unfortunately, most couples that have been together don't do a lot of talking. So it is fun to find the older couples that are still plugged in to each other and talking away :) We were truly saddened this last weekend to find a young couple that hardly said a word to each other, but spent the whole time looking down at their phones appearing to be texting.

Daniel J. Bennett said...

Well, perhaps that couple was at least texting each other?

John and Sarah said...

Can I cite this in my PhD dissertation? ;)

Erin Jewell Bergman said...

Interesting article. I have a friend who deleted her facebook profile several months ago, because she said it was sucking too much time out of her life. I sometimes feel that way, but I love the facebook because I can keep tabs on what friends & family, new and old are doing, without having to email them. Emailing has become too time consuming for me, whereas quick conversations via "Facebook status" are more laid back and informal than an email. I like the less formal approach, because sometimes typing an email is daunting, like writing a novel. I also embrace texting for this very reason. While an "in person" conversation is better and more necessary with close friends you don't talk to often, texting is great for quick conversations, reminders, etc. Brian & I text each other all day long with little notes & things that come to our minds right then and there. Since we only get to spend time together on the weekends, I think the text conversations work great for us, because we don't forget those things we need to tell each other "the next time I see/talk to him".

All this to say, I think the "digital age" has offered some advantages as well as some disadvantages. I definitely don't think young children should be "online" and having phones and texting each other, as they need to learn to have real relationships with other people, but for those of us "older folks" I love (some of) what the digital age has done for us!