On CNN, Sanjay Gupta is doing a podcast about the effect social media may be having on his daughters. He feels that learning to communicate with one's peers is crucial during the teen years; however he is worried about the effect that our current social media channels of communication may be having.
When my son was a parent, he worried about the time my eldest grandson spent online playing interactive games with other people on the internet. Not that my son stayed away from these games, himself, even as an adult.
When my children were little, parents worried about the amount of time their kids spent sitting mindlessly watching the TV screen. (I do think playing video games or gossiping on Facebook is better than totally passive TV watching.)
When I was an adolescent, a typical cartoon of a teenage girl showed a kid yakking endlessly on the phone with her friends, monopolizing it at the expense of the entire family and sometimes also the neighbors who were on the same party line. Not in my family. I was restricted to a total of 10 phone minutes per day. I spent the entire allotment on my boyfriend.
Did people communicate more (or less) skillfully during long-ago eras when all words were either face to face or via formal, well-thought-out, hand-written letters? Good question.
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