As the focus of family has turned to the glow of the screen—children constantly texting their friends, parents working online around the clock—everyday life is undergoing a massive revolution. Easy availability to the Internet and social media has erased the boundaries that protect children from the unsavory aspects of adult life. Parents feel they are losing a meaningful connection with their children while children feel lonely and isolated. Designed to serve us, please us, inform us, entertain us, and connect us, overtime digital devices have finally come to define us. In any given moment, with a buzz or a ping, our devices summon us and we’re likely to respond, allowing ourselves to be pulled away from our immediate surroundings into the waiting world of elsewhere and others. Whether we use it for work, shopping, or socializing, the effect is the same: we turn our attention away from those present. But with fresh eyes, an open mind, we now have the opportunity to nourish our families and protect and prepare our children for a meaningful life in the digital age that is transforming the human life. It’s time for the living room to regain its symbolic, and real, importance and role for family reunion, not through their iPads or smart phones, but rather through human interactions and family ties.
“The Big Disconnect” is best when suggesting tangible solutions. Steiner-Adair provides helpful suggestions for parents seeking to limit tech time and re-engage with their children." The New York Times
"In a book that should be required reading for all parents, Steiner-Adair examines the extraordinary negative impact of the digital revolution on parents and children. A practicing clinical psychologist and parent, Steiner-Adair shares cautionary tales from her work with children and adolescents, families, and schools, as well as the work of her colleagues. " Publishers Weekly
"Clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair, in her new book, The Big Disconnect,does an excellent job of detailing the eye-opening threats of technology on children from infancy to young adults, and providing straightforward, practical advice on how to address them." Boston Globe
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Parents feel they are losing a meaningful connection with their children while children feel lonely and isolated.
In any given moment, with a buzz or a ping, our devices summon us and we’re likely to respond, allowing ourselves to be pulled away from our immediate surroundings into the waiting world of elsewhere and others.
Although the Internet and other social media might appear to be connecting people, they result in the degradation of the concept of family and other interrelated consequences.
Teens believe that not having to see the other person’s response makes it easier to stay connected to their own reactions.
Teenagers are usually too afraid of intimacy, the vulnerability of someone knowing and seeing you and the risk of rejection.
They learn relationship skills when you help them understand the connection between behavior and consequences.
Children learn relationship skills when you help them understand the connection between behavior and consequences.
By age three today, children are immersed in the mainstream of media and tech available in their homes, and nearly everywhere they go.
Babies learn language most effectively from human interaction, not from audio or video programs or entertaining apps.
Social networking has switched out the private family space for a public square that promotes freewheeling communication, impulsive sharing, and uncensored feedback.
As media and social networking have erased the boundary between protected childhood and the adult world, they’ve also blurred the distinction between the public and the private dimensions of life.