jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2016

MercatorNet: Can we stop teens talking to no—one but each other?

MercatorNet: Can we stop teens talking to no—one but each other?
Can we stop teens talking to no—one but each other?

Can we stop teens talking to no—one but each other?

Never before have people reached their twenties so dominated by peers.
Joanna Roughton | Dec 8 2016 | comment 

The other day a simple and all too regular event crystallised my understanding of how limiting it is now to be a child.
I was driving the car back home from school. The radio was playing an interesting item about archaeology on the BBC. I started to talk about the story and turned for a response from my 13-year-old daughter, sitting in the passenger seat.
She was looking ahead, staring blankly. Then I noticed the tell-tale white cables poking from beneath her hair. She had her ear-phones in and was oblivious to my musings. I’d like to say she was listening to something edifying. But, the reality is that she was tuned to her music playlist.
This is not an irregular occurrence. I know, I know. A parent should insist that children don’t wander through life permanently plugged into their smartphones. But the reality of parenting is that child-rearing is about picking the battles to fight over.
A daily row with a child who wants to listen to a song on her way home from school is not a good use of my time. Anyway, we have agreed a compromise. Radio 4 on the way to school, their music on the way back.
It’s a little sad though. Ear-phones stop children from having incidental revelations. They preclude, not just a thought-provoking feature on a speech-radio channel, but also the conversations of their parents. Conversations which, eavesdropped on, will help school them in life.
There’s nothing completely new in my reservations. Parents have excoriated their children for decades about ‘closing themselves off’ with everything from comic-books to Walk-Mans.
But, it seems to me, that the smartphone represents a new order of threat for my generation of parents.
It’s not just music, but everything which the internet on the move can provide.
And a recently published book tackles some of the questions raised by parents with deep misgivings like me.
Mark Bauerlein, is the author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardises Our Future.
In an interview with Time magazine he offered this summary of his book: “Never before in history have people been able to grow up and reach age 23 so dominated by peers. To develop intellectually you’ve got to relate to older people, older things: 17-year-olds never grow up if they’re just hanging around other 17-year-olds.”
This, I would submit, is of considerable interest. The Home Renaissance Foundation, which sponsors this blog, believes that the home can be the setting for the transfer of wisdom and life-skills between generations. But, as Mark Bauerlein suggests, that transfer can’t happen if a teenager is permanently plugged into an electronic device where the only ‘conversation’ is by text and between people of the same age.
It doesn’t matter if grandma is there in the sitting-room, the smartphone – effectively – means she isn’t. When a child is attached to a smartphone, there is only one person with whom that child is sharing their home, and that is the person who is responding on Instagram, the friend on Facebook, the fellow-teen on Snapchat.
What to do? Well, the tide feels pretty irresistible, but we might at least be able to slow the inundation.
So we can insist, as this blog and many other people have argued before, that certain spaces in the home are smartphone-free. ‘No texting at the [dining] table!’, as the brilliant Canadian comic Anita Renfroe sang in her wonderful celebration of modern parenting ‘The Mom Song’.
Joanna Roughton is the editor of BeHome, the blog of the Home Renaissance Foundation. Reproduced with permission.

There was a time when we used to talk about academics in their ivory towers. There might be a few of those left, but it seems more likely these days that professors will be fighting cultural battles on their campus, often on opposing sides.
Anthony Esolen, who teaches Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College on Rhode Island, is one of those; he seems to be fighting a rather lonely battle against identity politics there.
It is some time since I started reading articles by Prof Esolen and wishing that I’d had someone like that teach me when I was at university – or that there had even been such a course on offer. The article from Public Discourse that I chose to share with MercatorNet readers today is an example of what I mean.
It is a superb and moving testimony to what a true liberal arts education – in this instance at a Catholic college – can offer ("instruction in love, by Love, for love"), and at the same time a cry of frustration and distress at the rejection such an education meets from students and staff obsessed with identity issues. Please read it.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,

Converting the miserabilists
By Michael Cook
The fundamental question in confronting euthanasia is whether life is worth living
Read the full article
Can we stop teens talking to no—one but each other?
By Joanna Roughton
Never before have people reached their twenties so dominated by peers.
Read the full article
Love, liberal education, and the secret of human identity
By Anthony Esolen
Transcending the narrow world of identity politics.
Read the full article
Lighten up - a message from the world’s religions
By Peter Stockland
'Tis the season to stop being sourpusses.
Read the full article
The ‘gay stigma kills’ mantra is wrong
By Michael Cook
Research showing that structural stigma reduces life expectancy is false
Read the full article
There is a remedy for El Salvador’s youth gangs: strong families
By Maria Jose Benítez
We know from the youths who do not get involved.
Read the full article
Why moralists are not necessarily mean
By J. Budziszewski
One of them responds to a complaint.
Read the full article
Manchester by the Sea
By Laura Cotta Ramosino
Real grief. Real pain. Real people. And the possibility of forgiveness.
Read the full article

MERCATORNET | New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George Street, North Strathfied NSW 2137, Australia

Designed by elleston
New Media Foundation | Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605

No hay comentarios: