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What ever you think of the recently deceased Colin Powell, when I saw this quote above, I said “yes”.

All children need the interconnectedness of an intergenerational network of unconditionally loving people who reinforce the ligaments of connection and the resilience of relationships.

I was aware that when our children went off to school they would return with the little psychic wounds of insults, chaotic thinking patterns, and rejections that they received and even gave:

Each day we were mindful to pray with them, and to pray off them the slime of a world gone mad.

Each day we would direct our focus with the One who made us for Himself, to worship Him and to put all of life into eternal perspective.

Each day we would reinforce their resiliencies by passing on, among many other things, the secret wisdom of walking with God and talking with Him in prayer.

Each day we lived out the normal spiritual life of parents learning to give up bits and pieces of selfishness in order to invest in the persons developing in our midst.

Each week we worked to connect them to the bigger picture of their extended family and their spiritual family in an environment of intergenerational respect – given and received both ways.

Every year we would circle the Sun with the rituals and patterns of humbly recognizing the God who inserts Himself into our lives and who holds all this together.

We did this with the realization of our limitations and self-contradictions.

We continue to do this with a new generation of grandchildren.

May we be so humble and wise as to be a conduit of God’s grace to each generation.

Social Media and the Soul

So, yes, all children need a laptop, but not the kind that technology cheats our children from interconnectedness. As I said in an earlier post, “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, a computer scientist, or a social scientist to know something’s going on in our society that we have never faced before. But it has taken some insiders from social media technologies to confirm what researchers are beginning to find, and what families have already found – sometimes too late.”

For more see “The Social Dilemma.

Eroding, Ripping, Addicting: The Verbs of Social Media

People who are now speaking up on the subject of social media are not cultural hinter-landers. These are the very people at the forefront: inventors and entrepreneurs who are now wanting to initiate a very different conversation about social media.

Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet.

Wired recently reported that Facebook failed the people who tried to improve it, as the companies former researchers offer parting thoughts of disillusionment. Probably none greater than the recent testimony by former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen to a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021:

Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy… The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people.

For more listen to “A conversation with Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen.”

Are the Kids Alright?

“We are in the midst of a teen mental health crisis,” says Jonathan Haidt:

Since 2011, the rate of U.S. hospitalizations for preteen girls who have self-harmed is up 189 percent, and with older teen girls, it’s up 62 percent. Tragically, the numbers on suicides are similar — 151 percent higher for preteen girls, and 70 percent higher for older teen girls.

NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has spent the last few years trying to figure out why, working with fellow psychologist Jean Twenge, and he believes social media is to blame. Jonathan and Jean found that the mental health data show a stark contrast between Generation Z and Millennials, unlike any demographic divide researchers have seen since World War II, and the division tracks with a sharp rise in social media use.”

All Children need a laptop

As I began, when I saw the Colin Powell quote above, I said “yes”:

All children need the interconnectedness of an intergenerational network of unconditionally loving people who reinforce the ligaments of connection and the resilience of relationships.

You are therefore welcomed to close your laptop – and – be a laptop for the children and grandchildren, nephews and nieces, and friends and family – the people in your sphere of influence who need the real you with all your wisdom and grace.

Next post will be on “Take A Break” – in response to Instagram’s late attempt to “help users disconnect.”