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From Hi-Tech to High Touch: Connections and Community

From Hi-Tech to High Touch: Connections and Community

Connected. We are anything if not connected. Social media and technology allow us to be the most connected generation that humanity has ever seen. No need to read cave drawings or wait on carrier pigeons. Instead just check out Twitter and Instagram. Our ability to connect is instant and sometimes fraught with peril. Parents are concerned about to whom their teens are connected and what they might be sharing. Some studies will suggest that social media is causing our teens to become anti-social (ironic, right?). Others suggest that we need to use social media more in education to spur on innovation and creativity. These connections are generally good things. Just so you do not think this is just a teenage thing, I meet adults regularly who want to connect through LinkedIn. On more than one occasion they have said more connections make them look more important.

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I have several hundred “friends” on Facebook, and connections on LinkedIn. You might have them to, but if we are honest, these are not friends, nor are they people we keep in contact with. That does not make Facebook or LinkedIn bad things…in fact, quite the contrary, the connections are useful and helpful. It is almost as if rapport already exist because we are connected. While Hi-Tech offers us connections, getting High Touch provides us with community.

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Teenagers who use social media tend to have lots of connections, but they will also tell you that community is their preference. Community is a product of relationships, friendships, shared experiences and common bonds. Community provides a group to laugh with and a group to cry alongside. Community inspires teenagers to be more than a screen name. Parents bear a role in this. We need to make efforts to help teach our children the role and value of community. We model it by participating in civic groups, faith groups, book studies and poker night. We encourage it by allowing friends to come over and eat all of our food and play our games. We facilitate it by driving to and from soccer practices, youth groups and band rehearsals.

Help your teenager balance Hi-Tech and High Touch. It will help you balance it as well. If you want your teenager to be part of community, you have to be a part too.  Connections are numbers, communities are people.

 

  1. dif. btw. soc. media “connections” & “community” http://t.co/YRAM6DsAHn #SJUMCyouthLE @b4man72

  2. What is more important: Connections or community? http://t.co/hgNMguPh8b

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