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Alive Enough was an eye opening broadcast for me. Sherry Turkle’s investigation and view of the effect technology can/is having on today’s society is somewhat frightening. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that technological advances are for the most part a wonderful thing; a way to improve conveniences and efficiencies of our lives. But as she points out, in many circumstances it is coming at the expense of our children.
Ms. Turkle explains the importance of keeping some “sacred spaces” in our homes and lives tech free. For me the diner table is a no brainer. Use that time to really connect and stay involved and informed with our children. She also pointed out that when we consider this problem most people (myself included) immediately think of our kids being on their cell phone or texting. While this obviously does happen, I think it is us as parents that need to consider our own use of technology. Ms. Turkle suggested that when kids come home from school or some activity how important it is to welcome them home, ask how their day was, etc. Not while you also text someone else or surf the web, but connect with them alone. You know, communicate with them to let them know you care.
The day after listening to this show I witnessed first hand the damage that can be done. My wife and I pulled up to a restaurant. We had to wait a second to park because two kids probably 8-10 years old came running out of the restaurant with huge smiles on their faces yelling Daddy! They each grabbed a suitcase out of a vehicle and went running to a car a couple of spots down. A young man gets out of the drivers seat with a cell phone to his ear, smiles at them but doesn’t say a word or put his cell phone away. He just opened the back door to let the kids get in. The kids smiles just completely disappeared, their heads sank low. They looked completely defeated as they threw their suitcases in the car and climbed in. It was so sad it about broke my heart. Please parents, I beg you. Give your kids the support, attention, and love they need and deserve. Those are things that technology can not give them that they so desperately need. Only you can, and they are a lot more important than any phone call.