“Connected, but alone?” On the need for silence and solitude
Continuing the theme of silence from post last week, I encourage you to watch another lecture (its 18 minutes long) highlighting the need to cultivate silence and solitude if we are going to be able to love others and be ourselves. If you remember, Robert Cardinal Sarah affirmed, “The silence of every day is an indispensable condition for living with others. Without the capacity for silence, man is incapable of hearing, loving, and understanding the people around him.”
This TED Talk by Sherry Turkle, a professor at MIT, who has been studying the impact of personal computers on human beings for nearly 40 years, is entitled, Connected, but alone? She describes how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication, and, if used excessively, can leave us feeling empty and alone. Our children are part of what some have called the iGeneration, which is characterized in part by “growing up with smartphones, Instagram, and they do not remember a time before the internet.” The question which Turkle raises is whether the omnipresence of smartphones and social media is actually healthy for us and our children? Surely, we want our children to mature into young men and women who are capable of rich and meaningful relationships with God, with others and with the natural world—how best can we shape the culture of our homes in order to make that possible?