Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Photo by: csaila

As for the iPads… my kids are 2, 5 and 7 and the moment either of the older one’s get their hands on an ipad that’s the last we hear from them.  That is, unless they are fighting over whose turn it is to play a game.  Angry birds, Smurf’s, racing games, puzzle, games, unicorn games.. The kids love them, and they suck up their attention.  The kids aren’t the only ones, the main culprit for the adults was Facebook, and I’m one of the guilty parties. We may have been closer to our facebook friends, but while were interacting with them we’re not interacting with out family members sitting besides us on the couch. And this is the problem for me.

When Did the Isolation Begin?

The walkman first became popular when I was in high school. Back then it was the radio or a cassette tape, (not mp3′s). After seeing a few of my friend’s with walkman’s my first impression (after the initial coolness) was, “how selfish”.  This was surly not everyone’s reaction, but I couldn’t help feeling cheated and jealous of my friend sitting next to me, jamming to some unknown tune, while I was forced to look-on, un-engaged and un-entertained. Later I got my own walkman and that feeling was erased, but my initial reaction was valid. This new device was creating a separation between the walkman user and the the rest of the world.  Flash forward to the present, our held-held devices not only play music anymore, they do about 100 other things as well. the amount of time and the amount of isolation we experience from those around us has grown exponentially. 

Because of technology we can have, and maintain relationships with thousands of people online through platforms like facebook and twitter, but is it robbing time from our friends and families?   Through our mobile devices we can be engaged and entertained every waking moment of our lives, but how do we balance this with being engaged with those who share proximity and a “flesh-and-bones” relationship with us? This may be one of the great challenges of our generation.

2 Responses to Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

  1. joyce says:

    <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">I believe it’s about engaging the mind and easy access to technology allows for that. During family get togethers conversation can be less meaningful than with friends on FB but you are right, "flesh-and-bones" relationships do need to be nurtured. Parents have the responsibility to teach social skills to their children. I continue to write thank you notes but will the next generation even know what that means? Does a quick thank you post on FB constitute proper etiquette? Who’s the next Emily Post of your children’s era? You may even ask, who’s Emily Post?"<div><div><div><div><font class="Apple-style-span" color="rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.0)" face="Arial"><br></font></div><blockquote type="cite"> <div style="width: 600px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px;" class="PosterousEmail"></div></div></div></div></body></html>

  2. Jeff SanGeorge says:

    I checked, and there is an 18th Edition of Emily Post’s ‘Etiquette’ that deals with texting, iPhones, and facebook, etc.. But are any of the younger generation going to pay attention to it? I’ve got to wonder if for many, so much online interaction is making real-life interaction socially awkward?

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