What a mitzvah it would be if social media could be used for constructive/productive purposes only, or if someone could design a social media platform that’s only used for brain development!!
A major problem, especially for younger minds, is that all forms of social media are essentially narcotics, that interfere with face to face communication and creative, independent, thoughts. Some pre terns snd teens are so addicted, they don’t know how to carry on a conversation.
Loving parents, who wouldn’t dream of giving addictive drugs to their children, have no problem using the computer as a drug induced state of mind babysitter for very young minds whose creative abilities aren’t fully formed (until approximately age four) and as a lethal mind numbing narcotic for their teens, whose abilities to regulate mental control aren’t fully developed until age 25.
Social media, games, buying sites, cartoons, vapid rabbit hole videos (reading materials for mind development excluded) steal us from our children and our children from us. I would have added spouses but there are days that we all feel that if someone would only steal our spouses they’d be paid well to keep them and if they’re to be returned read The Ransom of Red Chief for further directions on that score.
Hannah Arendt wrote of the dangers of social media, years before we knew of it, by warning us that any means of seducing us to conform, rather than think for ourselves, is a rabbit hole that can lead to a lack of consciousness, and then a lack of conscience, acceptance of what others tell us to do, including violent acts, without our thinking through any consequences.
That kind of sink hole thinking is why we each must use all of those narcotics sparingly. If you doubt this, check out your and your children’s feelings of withdrawal and how your snd their learned (like mice) inability to even notice (until withdrawal is tried) means that the mind numbing drug is stealing/has stolen malleable minds. Once longer periods of withdrawal are accomplished, you’ll be able to comprehend the power that social media has achieved over too many minds and appreciate how blossoming of the brain can occur much more easily when “clean”.
If you have children who give you a hard time, ask them if they’d think you would be a good parent if you gave them addictive drugs. When they say “no”, explain the narcotics analogy to them. If they say that’s ridiculous, ask them to do an experiment: have them measure how long they can go without using social media and to keep a log as to what their reactions are. Within the first hour they should start to feel withdrawal and will realize it’s a negatively powerful drug that steals their brain functioning (imagination, creative pursuits, individual thoughts, etc) as much as any other hard narcotic.
From there, work together to wean yourselves to a few hours a day, including phone calls. Again, reading books, magazines, and the TOI Blogs:)) are excluded pleasures and good for brain development (especially the blogs:)).
I’d suggest real, live, printed, books….you know those ancient things, with bindings on them….not as old as Abraham and Isaac with those kinds of bindings, but old nevertheless. However, I love to read on line and figure that as long as I’m learning, I feel as if I’m in a safe zone.
Ask your children (even the younger ones) to lead the way…to be their own parent and yours in this venture. That will allow them to “buy-in” rather than feeling victimized and the downtime will give them a sense of pride in their abilities “to be and to stay clean”,
to self regulate, and to exercise self control.
Having downtime will enable them (and you) the space in their (and your) head to think and to imagine. As for imagination, one eight year old boy, recently, sadly for me…he didn’t recognize the problem…asked me WHAT’S THAT?!!
His question was a shocking wake up call to his bright parents. The problem is, if addicted children aren’t stopped now, they’ll become addicted parents in ten to twenty years and there won’t be anyone left to be surprised at that question. Explain that to your children and ask them what they think…ask them if they know how to think.
I don’t mean to sound like Chicken Little but that scenario, portends a tragic abyss, from which we may never recover.
Let me know how it goes and I’ll check in with you too…..use the Buddy System, as if you’re on a diet from mental junk food, to help start SSCA (Slippery Slope Computer Anonymous) meetings with your buddies. Just be sure to stay glued to your screens to watch for news of meeting information…..
‘Just kidding about that staying glued business, but added it to make the point that this slope is very slippery and it will “take a village” to clean up our addictions.