Monday, March 29, 2010

Disconnect, in our connected world

When I think of how much technology has changed in the years since I graduated high school (1995), I am dumbfounded by how far we have come in a relatively short period of time.  In 1995 my family did not own a computer or a cell phone.  Heck we didn't even have a microwave.

And today, kids in the single digits can be seen carrying a cell phone around the neighborhood or with facebook profiles.  I don't agree with that advancement, because there is a loss of innocence to some degree, but even more so are the dangers that come along with having such technology open to just about everyone.

I understand giving your child a cell phone, in the belief that you can always track down your child, but I think about when I was growing up and we never needed a cell phone.  My parents knew all of our neighbors and where we were at all times.  If it was supper time and I wasn't home, my Mom would call the neighbors house and ask for me to come home.  There was no inability to track me down. 

I am sure my opinion will change to some degree when William gets older.  I can already appreciate the thought of being able to call him on times when he is with his Mom, and being able to speak with him whenever I want.  Something I would love at this point in my life.  But I also worry about how easy it would be for him and his friends to have conversations that their parents do not have a chance to over hear because they can take their cell phone out of earshoot of an involved parent.  I was fortunate enough to have a phone in my bedroom, but my house wasn't big so my parents could have heard any conversation if they wanted, or they could pick up another extension too, for that matter.

It all boils down to disconnect, in our connected world.  Parents are allowing more distance between themselves and their kids, in a world where there is already too much distance because of the fast-paced world we are raising our children in.  I hope I can hold on tightly to the snuggle-bum I have now and raise him to be as connected to me in the teenage years, as he is now.

Wow... there was a tangent I didn't think I was going on today.

1 comment:

Kari Anne said...

I so agree. When I graduated in 1993, I didn't have a cell phone...and the games we played were card games and board games...not Wii, X-Box and so on... Yes, we had an Atari when we were younger, but that was it...

I did decide to add my daughter to my cell phone plan and the only reason I did that was so she could contact me, if needed, while she is with her dad. And she did so one night. He left her home alone so he could take his girlfriend back to work because her work truck wouldn't start. She text me and told me she was scared. She was 8 - almost 9 - and it was 9:30 p.m. and it was only the second time she had been to her dads new girlfriends house. So, I'm glad I got her the phone...but that's the only reason I bought it for her...if her dad and I weren't divorced...I would not have done it...

I'm like you...I wish I could keep her the way she is now and not let her grow up too fast...but...she will be 10 this summer... She told me last year "Mom, do you realize that when I turn 10 next summer, that you will be 35??" I almost choked on my water I was drinking! LOL... Have a great week!