I love much of modern technology…it has made it possible for me to make connections with friends who live far away–or who I’d lost contact with. It allows me to be part of several communities of widely-scattered people who might never have met each other afterwards. There are incredibly beautiful pictures and meditations available…and I am thrilled when I can find information I need quickly (and when that information sometimes leads me to a serendipitious discovery I might now have found otherwise).
I sometimes wonder if that very ease is also problematic…especially for our young people.
It was difficult enough to be a teenager…with raging hormones and impulsive behavior…when I was a teenager. I remember some of my classmates who weren’t able to control them in a healthy way…one who was married for the first time when she was 14. Even later, when I was teaching, there were still kids who had problems–including two of my female sophomore students who got married when they discovered they were pregnant. Marriage is enough of a challenge for adults–much less, children who are expecting children.
I also remember the first (and only) time I looked at a Playboy magazine. It was when I was in college–and a classmate was the Playmate of the Month. In our small, rural, conservative college town, that issue sold out rapidly–and I’m not sure there were any within about 15-30 miles.
That all seems so innocent now…especially when some ads today for a major clothing store that caters to young people border on pornography. And pornography itself has become so much more accessible…if you have a computer, it’s there.
And despite talking and talking, kids still don’t seem to understand the dangers of sexting… It isn’t just a simple stupid decision; it’s a stupid decision that could carry lifelong consequences…and yet, the impulsiveness and the ease (and the raging hormones) seem to override common sense.
I don’t want to go back to the “good old days” because there were problems then–we just didn’t necessarily talk about them, and I think the openness and the ability to talk about them is important. But somehow there has to be a balance between the ease of technology and the need to find ways to protect our children from themselves…from too much too soon.