Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Distractions in the Modern World

The world is changing quickly. Technology has shaken up plenty of life's routines,but for many people it has completely altered the once predictable rituals at the start of the day. This is morning in America in the Internet age. After six to eight hours of network deprivation-also known as sleep-people are increasingly waking up and lunging for cellphones and laptops, sometimes even before swinging their legs to the floor and tending to more biologically urgent activities. Some children are waking up and checking text messages and facebook posts from friends before they are fully awake and before breakfast. There seems to be a need to be in constant contact with others.  These insights are from a NY Times article titled, "Breakfast Can Wait. The Day's First Stop Is Online," by Brad Stone. One mother complained that, Things that I thought were unacceptable a few years ago are now commonplace in my house, like all four of us starting the day on four computers in four seperate rooms. For some, technology is taking away from quality family time. Some parents are trying to set limits on internet and cellphone use, especially in the morning, so families can eat breakfast together. 
Whenever I speak to parents about deepening faith in their children, I mention how important it is for children (and adults) to say a prayer when they first wake up, even a short prayer, to bring a spiritual, religious dimension to the beginning of their day and focus on God, even if it's for a few minutes. I believe that's helpful for the spiritual development of children. Yet the current news makes you wonder, if the lure of technology is just too tempting and interesting.
The world is changing quickly and in ways I find surprising. There are some trends I find alarming. Another online article I read, was warning parents that children are learning about sex on YouTube. According to the article, children are turning to YouTube, Google and Facebook to learn about sex.  The word "sex" is at the top of search lists. 
Parents have to be very alert and aware, more so now than ever. They have to be rooted in prayer themselves to deal with the challenges of parenting today.