Being married to a teacher, you learn a lot about students today and how different they are than past generations. The things they say and do are things that we probably had never even heard of during the same time in our lives and you have to wonder how much technology plays a role in that. Have we advanced so far that the mere idea of a casual conversation, self discovered creativity, or imagination and wonder have almost ceased to exist? Have machines replaced social interaction to the point where it has created a generation of socially awkward people, or have we just created a whole new way to communicate while failing to understand the consequences of that communication?
I remember when my mom first learned to text. It was only a few years ago and when I got my first text from her it was strange. Our generation had been exposed to texting for much longer, but not that much. Her generations hold on the aptitude has only been years long in the making. However, the thing I remember most about that experience is when she said to me, “Does this mean I won’t get phone calls anymore”? I promised her that it did not and to keep that promise the phone calls have only increased rather than decreased. Unfortunately, that is not the same with all families.
Last night I was having dinner with one of my friends and colleague and we were talking about greeting cards. Now you know that greeting cards are near and dear to my heart as a part of the Bring Smiles program. She made the statement that she still loves sending and receiving holiday cards and she hopes that they do not go away and get totally replaced by technology. I concurred and noted that the card deliveries have definitely decreased over the last few years and less and less people find the will or energy to keep the time honored tradition going.
Technology has done so much good for society. We can now keep in touch and even see those that are thousands of miles away. We can reach more people in a faster amount of time and deliver messages to a much broader audience. This blog is a great example of that. As with anything though, it is the nefarious and bad use of all this new technology that gives us pause and causes us to question exactly what we are doing to our society.
As long as there are power hungry individuals in the world, and their have been since the beginning of time, it will be incumbent upon those that try to sow good to out pace those individuals. Messages of right, just, compassion, love, peace and the desire for a better world have to become louder, bolder and more numerous. It will be up to us to drown out the drumbeat of war and divisiveness that constantly tears at the fabric of our souls. It will be up to us to ensure that technology remains in its proper place and is used wisely and appropriately. There is a place where the cultivation of the appropriateness of technology starts and that is at home.
Technology may change the world, but the human spirit will be needed to guide us where we ultimately want to go. It starts with the generations now at home and that puts the burden squarely on us to do right by the students and leaders of tomorrow. It is our responsibility to give them the tools they need to make our world as great as it can be. Are you up for the challenge? I know I am.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles and learns today.