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Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Generation Gap & Technology


Are you feeling disconnected with your children or grandchildren due to today's technology? If so, you're not alone. Technology seems to be widening the generation gap at a time when families desperately need to practice cohesion.

Consider the following excerpt written by Genevieve Zook:
While the young are busy posting an apology to their readership blog, before they take an extended summer vacation with their family, the older generations are slow to make use of the latest gadgets and online tools, and are baffled by the reason one would want to post the date you will be absent from your house on the Net.  The resulting clash is being called a new generation gap...While the younger generation has expressed impatience with the older generations's slowness to adopt the latest online product, the older generation is just as bewildered by young people who choose to publish their private information on the Internet.
Read the complete article here.

Social Media is one form of technology that has the potential to exasperate the disconnect between children and parents or grandparents.  In part, because it is wildly popular and has become a fabric of youth culture and then again because too many of us older adults do not really understand how it all works.  Think of social media sites like Facebook as public interactive platforms where folks meet online to chat, exchange information, network, stay connected and play.  What is of paramount importance here is that all of this happens in public.  Every post, comment, like, conversation - even the items one chooses to look at are all for public consumption.  What's worse? Activity on Social Media sites is not only public - but it can also be permanent. These facts set the stage for what is known as cyber-bullying and sexting and also make way for predators and other criminals to profile, study and "get to know" our children online.  Read How to Protect Your Child from the Dangers of Social Media here.  What starts online doesn't necessarily stay online and so Social Media sites are riddled with intrinsic dangers which should cause parents and grandparents to be concerned about and monitor content and activity.