As I have been preparing for our upcoming discussion on sexting, I am becoming more and more saddened by the effects technology has and will continue to have on our relationships. There has not been one day since I have become a counselor that Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. has been mentioned in my office in a negative way. Whether it is the 12 year old girl who has been called “whore and slut” on Facebook, the husband or wife who has discovered an affair through email or text, the numerous young boys and girls who have been involved in sending or receiving of inappropriate pictures, the child who is desperate for their parent’s attention, but can not get it because they are on their phone or computer – I hear about it every day. What I see is broken spirits, broken hearts and broken relationships.
With this brokenness comes saddness and depression. Technology brings with it a false sense of bravery that allows us to say and do things that we normally would never be able to say or do in person. Words are more hurtful and actions are more risky. Whether you are the person who has been hurt by technology or the person who is hurting someone – there is often silent suffering that comes along with it. Technology is here to stay and will continue to be a constant part of our lives. As parents we have to be aware of what are children are doing on their devices. As adults we have to learn and teach self control. We need to ask ourselves, if we would not say or do something face to face with the other person should we say or do it through technology? We need to put down the technology and engage and build relationsihps with our friends, partners, spouses and children.
I challenge you to find ways to build relationships today!
– by Kendra Silver, M.S., LPC