A Bleak Future for Intimacy*
Posted in Family, General, Musings, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged Children, concerns, connection, development, Facebook, fundamental element, future, intimacy, maturity, networking, parenting, relational issues, relationships, social maturity, Social Media, social networking at 9:37 am by The Water Bearer
It is common to hear diatribes of drama and dysfunction from people sharing about their relationships and social interactions. Yes, relationships are tricky, however as experience is gained, overtime, social guidelines help us avoid so much of the non-sense drama of our youth. In this past week alone, I have listened to too many examples of social immaturity and hypocrisy. We are not in high school anymore, so why does it often sound like we are?
Judgment without Grace,
Offense without Accountability,
Deception without Discernment,
Walls without Boundaries,
Conflict without Resolution,
Anger without Acceptance,
Passion without Humility,
Condemnation without Self-Reflection,
Battle without Courage.
Our ability to relate and connect is a fundamental element of being human, and yet our ability to achieve maturity in this area seems to becoming less and less apparent.
I am extremely concerned for the social development of our generation and the next, now that relationships and connections are being severely affected by the new ways to connect with family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers. Social Networking claims to make connecting better, easier, and more convenient. But is this “easier” way helping us to develop strategies to interact genuinely, intimately and develop social maturity? I’m not so sure.
For those who fail to stretch and grow through the discomfort of tricky relational issues, it is too easy to sit behind a computer screen and imitate genuine human connection. Are they thinking to themselves… “The real world is too painful, people are difficult, online I can block them, ignore them, hide from them or berate them. I can find someone to agree with and fuel my opinion, by giving only my side of any situation.” ??
Is this the type of social development we want for our children?
With all the technological ways we have these days, to gain our craved ‘hit’ of connection, why would anyone choose the harder path of learning to understand and accept human nature. Let’s give our children the opportunity to develop social skills first. Then, once they leave High School or even University, and have some sturdy social guidelines in place, social networking can become a fantastic tool. Saying “No” when your teenager asks you if they can create a Facebook account may seem unfair, especially when “All my friends are on there”. Yet, when your ‘No’ is deeply grounded in your concern for their social safety and development, it becomes reasonable and responsible.
I pray our children gain the skills to handle conflict resolution face-to-face, that they learn to pick their battles, and to create a filter so they know who to trust with their personal story, and whose story to believe. To experience the complexities of true relationships that grow and twist with time, changing them into deeper more compassionate and well-rounded human beings.