There is a loss of meaning in our hyperconnected society. In this age, we are inundated with information from an unceasing data stream pouring out of our phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. Our phones continually buzz with new headlines demanding our attention, not to mention the social media cuffs that regularly tighten.
But, how do these invisible connections and the overwhelming amount of information affect our children? How do we, as parents, reclaim meaning amidst the mayhem? Even more, how do we protect them from the nonsense, falsehoods, and flash mobs of constant hyperconnectivity?
We untangle the web. To do this, we must slow down, refocus, and engage.
The pace of modern life is fast. Often, when you are always on the move, you’re in a reactionary phase and do not take time to reflect on the information delivered. Take time to contemplate the headlines and talk with your children about what they may be reading or hearing.
Next, refocus their energy on quality sources. This is tricky because you have to make sure the content your child is absorbing is age-appropriate and not coated with false messages and grooming. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot oversee what your child is watching, playing, or engaging in, delete it. Unmonitored information is a recipe for disaster until your child has enough fortitude to discern the muck from the unblemished.
Lastly, engage. This is the most important step. Shift the energy spent online, chatting with friends, watching YouTube, etc., to engagement with the real world. Immerse your children in experiences and physical connections with people, places, and activities. Eliminate the noise by washing away the shallow nature of hyperconnectivity. Talk with your children about authenticity and urge them to seek deep, powerful, and real relationships.
Hyperconnectivity leads to the superficial and affects your children’s ability to process and comprehend the information being forced upon them. And, it is forced. Purposeful confusion is a good way of putting it. As parents, one of our many roles is that of the police officer or investigator. We have to be aware of the content our children are immersed in so that they can effectively discern. So slow down, refocus, and engage, and hopefully, that web will untangle into a clear context.
Brittany Stewart, an accomplished writer and educator, draws inspiration from her 23-year marriage and upbringing near Lake Tahoe in Verdi, Nevada, now residing in Tucson, Arizona. With her Bachelor’s degree in Education, emphasizing Native American Literature and Journalism, Brittany is a multifaceted professional who is also a Licensed Massage Therapist. She is deeply involved in Tucson’s homeschooling community, leading a homeschool group, teaching dance, and offering art classes. She and her family have a homestead in Southern Arizona, where her husband hunts and she tends to the garden, emphasizing the importance of God and family in her life while continually seeking adventure through her travels.