If there is one word that sums up how many of us feel about technology and family life, it’s Help!
Parents know we need help.
We love the way devices make our lives easier amid the stress and busyness that fill our days. We love the way screens can, almost magically, absorb our children’s attention and give us a few moments of quiet in the car or before dinner. We admire the ease with which our children master technology, the prowess they show with video games, the bursts of creativity in the arts, movies, and music that devices help them produce.
But we also sense the precious days of childhood are passing by, far too fast, in a haze of ghostly blue light. We watch as the inevitable intensity of teenage relationships is raised to near-toxic levels by a sleep-depriving, round-the-clock deluge of messages. We feel helpless to prevent them from overexposure, far too early, to the most violent and intimate facts of life. (Medieval Jewish rabbis, it’s said, used to discourage anyone under thirty from even reading the Bible’s poetically erotic Song of Songs. If only that was our problem.)