A Good Servant But A Bad Master


When children emerge from school looking for that signature moment of eye contact with a parent, the parent is usually looking down at their phone. We stare down at our devices so often that physicians have added a condition called “Text Neck” to their diagnoses. We would rather text than talk. We’re sleeping with our digital devices and growing anxious without them. The seductive technology that feeds this culture of distraction highlights a paradoxical vulnerability: we are lonely, but fearful of intimacy. Online connectivity offers the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. We can’t get enough of each other as long as we can have each other at a distance, in amounts that we can control, with the ability to hide from those we’re connected to. By indulging a habit of constant connection we risk losing our capacity for the kind of solitude that energizes and restores. And if we don’t teach our children to be alone, they will only know how to be lonely.


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