Our Children’s Connection Crisis

The Connection Crisis is real, and it is here to stay!

You may be thinking, “I have never heard this term before.  What is a ‘connection crisis’?  Mankind has never been more connected.”  And, in a span of seconds, you have accurately identified the underlying challenge.

Over the past 10 years, we have all been sold an “untruth”.  Not a deliberate lie.  And, certainly not for malicious purposes.  Since the introduction of the smartphone, or more accurately, the proliferation of social media and social communication “apps”, we have been spoon fed the consistent (and continual) message that “the more connections we have, the happier we will be”.

Unfortunately, many of us – and, especially our children – have traded this interpretation for the correct one;

“positive, meaningful CONNECTION makes us happy

Likes, Streaks, and 2000 “friends” are not designed to make us happy.  They are designed (literally by thousands of software engineers) to command our attention… to entice us to use one solution more than another, in the interest of maximizing advertising revenue.  As stated earlier, I do not believe the intent is nefarious.  However, you can be confident that the “owners” of these “solutions” are not in the position to make significant changes in favor of our mental health… multi-billion dollar valuations will not allow it to happen.

So, if the sources of the problem are unlikely to change, how can we, as individuals and families, contend with these huge corporations that are [inadvertently] wrecking havoc among an entire generation?  And more importantly, how do we protect our children and prepare them to remain safe when we are not there to safeguard them directly?

As with most worthwhile causes, there are three actions we can all take.  First, we must educate ourselves… both on the causes and results of The Connection Crisis, as well as the actions we might take to make a positive difference.  Second, we need to support the teams and individuals on the front lines.  There are a growing number of companies and organizations that provide a wealth of information and solutions that can help.  And finally, we must all put what we learn into action and encourage others to do the same.  It may take a bit more effort than learning how to apply rabbit ears to a selfie.  But, rest assured, the rewards will far outweigh the investment.

In conclusion, please know that there are many of us who are  dedicating our careers and lives to making a difference.  We do so because we believe everyone has an inalienable right to be happy.  In today’s “uber-connected” world… we can all use a little reminder of the value of “real connection”, and a bit of help in creating that connection… especially our children!

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