Recently, a number of studies have come out confirming my worst fears—that social media is not really social, and that the more time we spend engaging with it, the worse we feel. But new evidence suggests that the influence that social media is inflicting on our youth may just be destroying them. They've been coined the I-Generation, and the statistics are both dangerously overwhelming and unparalleled in any previous generation. Not only are the rates of depression and suicide multiplying, but the actual capacity to be with other human beings—to share space—is at an all-time low.
For me, what is most troubling is the way in which our youth have lost the desire and the courage to be together. Instead of fully participating in life, they prefer to remain alone and watch it from a screen. I know from experience that we cannot tell anyone anything, and shifting this generation back into life will not happen through coercion, fearmongering, or guilt. Instead, in the spirit of You. We. All, I think we need to collectively start asking different and better questions that may get us all thinking differently about how we allow technology to direct our days.
Here are a few I rely on to pull my kids (and myself) back into the moment.