I recently did a review of a book on how to use technology and the media properly in your life. On how to find the balance between too much and too little. Is it just me or is this something so many of us need to figure out? Social networking is almost like a plague of locusts in our society. I truly believe Facebook has allowed many people to continue the high school antics into adulthood or resurrect them after they'd been buried for a time. How many times do people get upset over something they saw there? I recently realized that keeping folks on my friends list that I had never really had a relationship with in the past and who I was not gaining any real relationship with through Facebook was rather pointless. Yup, the list was trimmed a bit. I wonder if they noticed. You see gossiping, bragging and fighting brought to the front of your computer screen every day with these social networks.
Then there are all the folks who carry around internet enabled cell phones and devices for no real reason and quickly find themselves afraid to be without them because they would somehow not be connected. I have to wonder in many cases what they are connecting to and what they are missing.
Let's not even begin to think about the crud that comes spewing into our homes each day through the tv. I'll admit that I am the only reason we still have cable. I think Alan would be happy if we got rid of the tv altogether. The kids would protest a bit but quickly get over it. But I'm the hold out.
You see, all of these things can bring positive things to your life. Who hasn't used a television show or movie to educate. Historical fiction is a wonderful tool when the movies are done properly. Documentaries can bring science to life. Religious shows and biographies can add depth to your education. And let's not discount the way a movie can keep a sick child in bed and resting without protest. The internet makes long distance communication incredibly easy, even free. Skype keeps many kids in touch with their parents and grandparents and social networks can be used in much the same way. The internet can provide education and communication and friendships for many people.
But they can also become an addiction and a hidden window. Television shows and movies can expose your kids to things that you would never allow them access to otherwise. Internet communications can encourage you to spend too much time focusing on relationships outside your own family. Children can easily stumble upon things they are better off not seeing.
So I guess the real trick is to figure out the limits that are truly going to be beneficial. We can't keep everything away from our kids or ourselves. We have to discern and learn to handle them properly. It seems to be a very fine line and I have a feeling many of us are maybe not walking it the way we should be.