Two messages in two media – video and text – by a prime minister and a professor got me, and I'm sure many others, thinking about the good, not-so-good and necessary connecting we human beings are doing on digital devices now, at both international and personal levels. I haven't heard a politician from any country speak of using social media the way India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi did at … [Read more...] about A prime minister & a professor: True connecting in a digital age
"We want to customize our lives…," "It is as though we have all put ourselves on cable news…," "We seem willing to dispense with [other] people altogether…." All these dire, dour, disrespectful pronouncements about this undifferentiated mass called "we" from highly respected psychologist Sherry Turkle at MIT in the New York Times. Where is her acknowledgment that the way we use all the devices, … [Read more...] about So we’re all becoming cyborgs, Dr. Turkle?
As Moby does with other people's sounds and musical phrases, David Shields does with words, saying that mashing up other people's words (or "recombinant" art) is much more interesting than creating fiction, which is sort of an appropriation of Mark Twain's "reality is stranger [more interesting?] than fiction." "Mr. Shields’s book consists of 618 fragments, including hundreds of quotations taken … [Read more...] about ‘Recombinant art,’ life?: Parenting & the digital drama overload
How do we help our children maintain some detachment from the drama, sometimes cruelty, of school life? This, I think, is the central question of online safety, if not child development, in the digital age. It has just become national news that 15-year-old Phoebe Prince of South Hadley, Mass., and very recently of western Ireland, committed suicide January 14 because of fellow students' social … [Read more...] about Cyberbullying & bullying-related suicides: 1 way to help our digital-age kids
Kindness and mindfulness, really. Those two approaches to the Internet as well as life are both attractive and protective. "Attractive to others, maybe, but protective?" your kids might ask. Yes. Because aggressive behavior online more than doubles the aggressor's risk of being victimized, researchers have found (see Archives of Pediatrics). Mindfulness covers both alertness and critical thinking … [Read more...] about A different sort of back-to-school tip: Kindness