Why I Won’t Live Without Electricity
When I speak with parents who are concerned about how, “Facebook is rotting kid’s brains,” I tend to feel a little defensive. I can start to think it’s about to me to sell the value of the FB platform while carefully acknowledging some of the inherent downsides.
When sharing this with my friend, Danny Wallen, he made a great point that I believe got to the root of many of the fears I’ve encountered in others (and experience myself).
“Change is hard,” Danny said. “Every time things change, something is lost. What some parents and grandparents are feeling is that sense of loss over ‘how things used to be.’ That’s normal. Some things are being lost and those of us who have known those things as good realize what’s missing.”
Danny’s words got me thinking (his words often do). Every time there is a cultural/technological shift, something is lost and something is gained. It’s always a tradeoff.
For example, before electricity was invented, humans tended to get plenty of sleep. They went to bed not long after the sun went down and got up when the sun rose. Since electricity came along, our body rhythms have never been quite the same. We’re now “at the mercy” of electricity and the various technologies that it powers, some that can keep us awake all night or wake us at artificially early times. But you couldn’t pay me enough money to live in a time before electricity. How else would I power my TiVo?
The point is, change is hard and we lose something and gain something with every step forward. This perspective is helping me feel a little less defensive when face to face with a concerned parent. So thanks, concerned parents, for your patience as I’ve been learning from all of your great questions and insights!