Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weapons of mass distraction

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
Chinese Proverb

The holidays have finally arrived, (albeit an extremely short one - one week) and I'm so looking forward to sitting back and relaxing.  So much so, that until this morning, I haven't turned my computer on since my last lecture - Wednesday last week.  Nope, not since then have I seen a single email or post on Facebook or Twitter and I've got to say, that break alone has been truely cathartic.  It got me thinking about the hold social media has on our lives, particularly those of our teens and young adults.

Being the parent of three teenagers, it worries me that they seem to be constantly distracted by Facebooking, Twittering, Instagramming, IMing, texting and other web-based communication technologies.  It doesn't worry me that they're involved in global communication, it worries me that these forms of communication are continual and can only be turned off not by choice, but by force.  It worries me they can't spend time by themselves without getting bored.  I'm speaking generally, of course, in my experience as a mother and student - it still surprises me how often I see my fellow students in lectures, presumably typing notes but actually messaging on Facebook.

So, I've had to take my children in hand.  I'm taking them away from it all for a couple of days and you should've heard them when I told them it was conditional - there'll be no WiFi.  Instead, there will be swimming, fishing, board games and...gasp...face to face communication.  I'm hoping the down time will make them see the benefits of switching off every now and again.

Nature beckons.


  1. Caz, how did the technology detox go? It starts really young these days. I’ve always tried to embrace technology than deny it, but feel that I've now created a screen addicted monster in my almost three year old. A year ago I bought him a Fisher Price Leappad to keep him occupied on a plane trip, it was such a success we started to trot it out more and more. It was especially handy when I needed to finish an assignment or had a group meeting that I needed to attend. Now my son has a full blown addiction. Rehab will be starting in approximately three weeks - after mummy has studied for exams.

  2. Yes, they do start at an early age - I have a five year old nephew who can navigate his way around an ipod with great finesse! The weekend was a success but I've decided that instead of jumping the gun and becoming completely Amish, it might just be all about balance!


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