I often write about the changing world and what it means for our children in this new landscape. Yes, Technology does change everything, and it is how we use these inventions of our times.
For example, I rely on Skype a lot to connect weekly to my children and my parents who live halfway across the world from me. Seeing their faces sustains me, and makes our separation easier to bear. And often, that holds me on to my dream, to who I am. seeing my mum pottering in her kitchen, for example, brings home to me the fact that I am just a Portsmouth girl having a holiday of a lifetime, but just a holiday nonetheless.
Yet the ever-present, easily accessible internet culture can wreak much destruction to family life. It’s all too easy to feed our curiosity, boredom, dissatisfaction, perversion. My partner once said to me, “If you want to sext (sex-text), sext me. I’ll blow your mind with my dirty mind. If you want to watch porn, tell me and I will be your porn star.”
He knows it’s all too easy if we let go of each other in this internet labyrinth.
Recently, int he UK, a footballer got chatting to an underaged girl on social media,a fan, which was harmless enough. He then took the nest step and set up fake accounts to talk dirty with the girl, and eventually meeting up with her for sex. It all happened the same time as he was texting love messages to his partner, who had just given birth to their first child.
On 31st October 2015, 15 year old Kayleigh Haywood received a Facebook message from a man she didn’t know. 15 days later, she was dead. Her parents gave the police permission to make her “love story” into a video. Here it is:
My heart breaks when I read her story. Like all of us, Kayleigh was looking for someone to love her – it is part of our basic human need, and it is this need that leads us to being exploited. Never mind teenagers, I too was once suckered into believing that an abusive, parasitic relationship was love, despite being older and having a lot of love from my family. My father knew at once, recognised its nature at once, but I didn’t want to listen. We all want that dream.
Two days ago, I wrote about the importance of staying close to our children, as my parents had stayed close to me. Especially teenagers, rather than thinking it is normal that they spend all hours locked in their bedrooms instead of hanging around with the family. You can access the article here.
There is much loneliness in the world today, paradoxically caused by and solved with technology at the same time. A photographer showed the disconnectedness of human beings who prefer their iPads and smart phones to other human beings – you can view the photographs here:
Many of my daughter’s teenage friends are reliant on the Yes, we do need a certain amount of privacy, but I think we need extreme closeness with our loved ones more, who act as our check and balance. My nearest and dearest know the passwords to my email account and other social media account, and I am perfectly comfortable with it.
This is our dining table at home.
Despite having a lovely, sunny space in her bedroom to study in and a separate study upstairs, my daughter prefers to study at our dining table, close to the heart of our home, which is the kitchen. It is annoying, it is messy, but this is where she needs to be ❤
For teenagers who spend hours alone in their bedrooms, apart from being vulnerable to the dangerous temptations in the cyberworld, there is also the likelihood of evolving The Grinch mindset, which I wrote about here.