29 February 2012

Today, I am glad that...

...I am not attempting to grow up in the current culture.

I'm so glad I did not have to deal with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email, cell phones, and internet shopping when I was a teen and young adult.  I'm grateful that I got to figure out who I was with a buffer between me and the outside world.  I worry about kids today, my own especially, who are growing up without that buffer.  The world is too much with them.

I remember way back in 1994, when I got my first email address.  I remember sitting with a co-worker, Jane, who showed me how to use this newfangled technology.  I remember thinking: "OK.  I have this email address.  Who is ever going to send me an email?  This is weird."

I remember when Rick and I made the decision to get our very first cell phones, a big deal for us.  It felt strange to be able to talk to him (since he was the only person I called for a long time) from any place I happened to be.  

I remember discovering the internet, clicking around this unfamiliar place for the first time, and being rather mesmerized by the emerging screens chock full of information.

Now we are immersed, and my children are immersed, and I don't like it.

We can do small things to keep it at bay, to balance its influence.  We can make household rules and we can show them in word and deed what we think is right and good in the world.  But the great big hand of popular culture is huge and grabby and sometimes muffles our voices all together.

I wish my kids could arrive at adulthood without ever seeing a thread of YouTube comments.  That's probably not going to happen, unless I embrace my latent Luddite tendencies and unplug us all for the next 12-15 years.  That's definitely not going to happen.

But I can't help longing for more buffered days for my children.

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3 comments:

wifemotherexpletive said...

i hear that. and i think its probably a more serious subject than we think. I cannot imagine going through my teens when the potential for EVERYTHING to be public is so very real. I hope like hell my boys will understand why they never ever get cellphones while they are under my roof...

Sandy said...

I so agree with you. I am so old that I remember the Nightly News with Walter Cronkite. Do you know how many minutes CBS devoted to making sure that we were all aware of what was happening in our world? 15 MINUTES!

I miss the days when my local news was local. I do not think we are better off knowing how very many predators there are in the world. I think it just scares our kids (and their parents) and gives us all a feeling of hopelessness.

Buffer them while you can - and teach them critical thinking, too, please!

Kerri said...

sometimes, all you need is a good old fashioned puppet show. ;-P