Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Is Social Media Promoting Isolation Among Our Children?

My argument is, no. The opposite.

Why?

 The ancient humans that came out of Africa were used to living in close-knit communities where a neighbour was seldom more than a glance away. Tribal communities across the world show how children are within easy reach of each other; congregating continually to play, explore, learn and even sleep. Transport systems mean families no longer need to live together. Children are scattered over large distances. Many are completely isolated from their age group and more are limited to just a few local friends.

Social media brings children – especially teenagers – together. They may be physically separated by many miles but the ability for them to chat, exchange images and generally interact is helping them back to the 'normal' state of once again being social animals.

 Modern life, up to the end of the last millennium, deprived our children of so much social contact as to be incalculable. Social media is helping to redress the imbalance.

The advent of driverless cars will be the next huge upheaval of modern society. Safe, unchaperoned transport for everyone: the very old, the very young, and everyone in between - even animals and goods. Driverless cars are not just about freeing up a business person's time to do more while in transit. My daughter will be able to send her children off to see their friends, picking up others on the way, to a common, safe destination where they can get about the business of being children among children. And take them all safely back home.

 I have huge hopes that social media and other technologies will be able to mend some of the broken social structures of the past.