By Sue Crothers
When it comes to modern technology, instant communicating without actually having to talk in person or see each other has become the new social norm. From Facebook to texting and dare I say that old standby, email; communications are more frequent and conducted in “real time” while eliminating the face to face aspect of our daily conversations.
Some parents are often heard complaining to each other about how our teenagers continually have their heads down, glued to their cell phones conducting 3 or more separate conversations simultaneously with the thought of picking up the phone being nothing short of shocking! “Why would I want to actually call someone mom, are you crazy?”
So I find it an interesting observation that we as parents, with all of our anxiety about who our children are associating with in the virtual world, no longer take 5 minutes to communicate to each other. How many times have you picked up your teenager from someone’s home and chosen to simply text your child to let them know you are waiting out the front? When did we stop taking the time to get to know each other or simply check in to see how things are going? Or, shock horror…to actually meet each other?
Let’s survey: When was the last time you knocked on the door of a house when dropping off or collecting your child from one of their friend’s home? Did you stop doing this simply because your teenager thinks it’s uncool? (As if anything we ever do as parents seems cool to a teen!) So why let this drive a decision?
Shouldn’t we be explaining to our kids that it is because we love and care for them that we need to know who has invited them. Shouldn’t we get to know the parents whose home our children are spending time in and at the very least introduce ourselves? Our children are our most precious of possessions, our love for them is beyond words and yet we drop them off to another home, often of someone we have never met, without so much as a hello and a handshake!
With all the talk about the drug and alcohol issues and the recommendations from experts that we need to communicate with our teens and get to know their friends, shouldn’t the parents of these same children be taking a few minutes to get to know each other!
So I ask you; when we complain about our children not actually speaking directly and face to face with their friends, why don’t we take a moment to look in our own backyard. Has modern technology made us lazy and perhaps even lose sight of common decency, or should we now call it uncommon decency?