I woke up this morning and had my tea, looked through the newspapers and began to check my online accounts – same routine as usual. Mixed in with the typical status updates was a glaring remark from a teenager who is one of my “friends” on Facebook who proclaimed, “_____________(insert name) just found out his dad is moving out”. This was followed by a barrage of comments from other friends telling this teen how sorry they are to hear this sad news.
I am dumbfounded…by this news, by the manner in which it was delivered and by the public responses to such a personal upset in his life. Clearly he needed to talk this out and this just happened to be his communication tool of choice, but what does this say about our evolving society and how our children cope?
Unfortunately, separation and divorce have become almost commonplace. But status updates on such a personal level seem disturbing to me and are shedding light on a trend. Never has the question, “What’s on your mind?” felt so loaded as it does for me today.
On a personal level, this is upsetting, but in this situation in particular, I know the family will be ok…they are all good people. It furthers my thinking on this subject though. Don’t know how many reading this read the book or saw the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You” but Drew Barrymore delivers one of the most funny and telling dialogue in the film when she tells her friend that she is (and I am paraphrasing) “exhausted” from chasing the different modalities of messaging.
We can video chat, instant message, BBM, text, leave a voicemail, use a pager (very retro, it seems), tweet, report our status and the list goes on. We can communicate instantly without ever really connecting and to take it one step further, people are really doing a lot of their living – totally online.
I personally feel lucky to have grown up in a different time while still being an active participant in this constantly-evolving technological boom we find ourselves in the midst of. There is an expanding gap for our children but they don’t even feel it because that’s all they know. I already find myself sounding like my parents when I tell my kids “when I was your age, we didn’t even have cell phones” in response to my daughter’s request to upgrade to a Blackberry. She tells me she needs it and that a bunch of her friends have one. She’s 11. I feel like I’m living in upside-down world but then again, I am the most guilty enabler. After all, wasn’t it me that text her to come down and set the table?
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