Curious…if necessity is the mother of invention, did social networking come about because we inhibited our children’s ability to make friends?
Think about it…
We were told we were bad mothers if our children played outside; after all they could be abducted. So they played inside and were entertained by TV and videos which brought the rise of electronic toys.
We were scorned if our children walked to school for the same reason. We arranged playdates so our children could play with the children of parents that were like us.
When children came over to play, they only knew how to play electronically, so that’s what they did. There was little experience grabbing a ball and playing outside, or getting friends together for a pick-up game.
My daughter, now a college senior, and I discussed the idea of making friends in today’s society. “Mom, I don’t think we had the same opportunities to make friends as you and dad did.”
Over the years we told stories of how we grew up, and she smiled as if our stories were fantasy. Growing up in an urban area, there were at least 50 kids on the block. We went out to play early in the morning and came in for dinner. Games were invented on the fly, leaders rose to the occasion, and friendships were formed.
Parents didn’t step in when friends squabbled; kids figured out how to work things out. You learned by your mistakes that you shouldn’t share a secret because then it was no longer a secret. Since we weren’t overwhelmed with activities, we actually had time for friends.
Facebook vs. Facetime
I am not suggesting that we should reset the clock because technology brings many good things. There are ways to stay connected to friends that move away and share moments in our lives that are meaningful.
There are also ways to connect with people that have similar interests and causes which make it easier as Ghandi suggests, to be the change you want to see in the world.
Connections are not friends. You first have to make friends.
Tomorrow’s Adult: Who You Always Dreamed Your Child Would Be.
p.s. You may also want to tell your friends to sign up.
Have a great week!
Tina Nocera, Founder