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  1. Why can’t we do both? Reach out to those we would otherwise be unable to reach using the power of technology, but be wary not to cast aside those physically within reach because we can always “catch up later”. Later should be now. We need to make the time to integrate “face to face” time within our “face” time. Meet for a coffee or a meal. Get together at the park and share what’s been going on.
    Before the advent of this powerful technology we spent time with friends and family either by telephone (if they lived a distance away) or in person, frequently. The definition of a friend has not and should not change because we can reach more people via this medium. At best, we have increased the number of our acquaintances and unless we can spend quality face to face time, they will remain acquaintances. True friendship, in my opinion, is a labor of love, planting the seeds, nourishing it, and developing it. However, with that said, I think it is possible to connect with someone via the internet or Facebook and develop a friendship in that context. For me, it’s the time I am able to spend with a particular individual that more clearly defines whether this person is a close friend, casual acquaintance, school colleague, Church friend, etc. My point is, let’s make sure we don’t lose the human experience. As a 3rd grade teacher one concern I have is screen time access by children at too early an age. I am already seeing some students lacking basic social skills and the correlation of this to the enormous amount of time they spend on a computer. Kids are and always have been very savvy, i.e. let them develop social skills, screen time can come later…they will more assuredly catch on and catch up. I remember once saying to my children that someday in their lifetime someone will develop a chat room that you will have to drive or walk to, go in, take a seat, and start a dialogue with someone who is sitting across from you!

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