Is Social Media Making Our Kids Less Empathetic?

April 09, 2016

Quote of the Week

"Like all technology, social media is neutral but is best put to work in the service of building a better world." --Simon Mainwaring

Flight From Conversation

"Sherry Turkle, a clinical psychologist and sociologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has spent the past 30 years observing how people react and adapt to new technologies that change the way we communicate. In her latest book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Turkle argues that texts, tweets, Facebook posts, emails, instant messages, and snapchats—simultaneous, rapid-fire “sips” of online communication—have replaced face-to-face conversation, and that people are noticing the consequences. Over-reliance on devices, she argues, is harming our ability to have valuable face-to-face conversations, “the most human thing we do,” by splitting our attention and diminishing our capacity for empathy." Read on for suggestions on how to carve out sacred, tech free space with your children. Despite Turkle's conclusions, evidence also supports the finding that this plugged-in generation is more connected to each other emotionally than ever before, valuing relationship and teamwork.

Reading Corner

Title: Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age
By: Yalda Uhls
Ages: Adult
Why: "There are few hotter parenting issues today than helping our children safely navigate the digital world in which we live. It provides both immense opportunity for learning and connecting and yet great opportunity for making mistakes and harm. Knowing what the facts are and when and how to get involved is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of parenting. Media Moms & Digital Dads offers parents reassuring and fact based guidance on how best to manage screens and media for their children." -Publisher

Be the Change

Carve out "sacred space" in your day to set down the cell phone, close the laptop, and attend to those around you. For inspiration, watch this short video.