Editorial: Sharing our voices irreplaceable

Mar. 19, 2013 @ 04:30 PM

For more half a century, Charles Schulz drew the cartoon strip so many of us loved. Each character stood out, so unmistakable that if we see just a part of their sketching we knew the character.

Linus had the attachment with which most could easily identify. He carried a blanket, and was seemingly out of sorts and fearful without it. Those watching could identify, perhaps because of a teddy bear or some other trusty childhood element.

The memory is rekindled in light of a recent report. The more things change, the more they do stay the same. Children still have dependencies, and parents can still have great influence.

A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found 78 percent of young people ages 12 to 17 have cell phones, and of those half are holding smartphones. One in four young people are “cell mostly” surfing the Internet, and 50 percent are if they have a smartphone.

The report gives insight into what parents are encountering in this technology age that seemingly has no limits. What parents have to find are the limits, keeping children from “naughty” items online, monitoring texts because that is the way most “talk” to each other and deciding how much looking over the shoulder is going to be necessary.

Some don’t bother, and for positive and negative reasons. Some parents have conversation and improve the formative years relationship. Some are overwhelmed by technology, or figure the children will outsmart them anyway.

Technology controls can be utilized, but either way, young people and their gadgets are not likely to be separated. Just like Linus and his blanket.

The phones go to the shower, are within reach while sleeping and are even frequently utilized in proper settings such as school, college and church. It’s not even an afterthought to attend a worship service, hear the pastor lead the congregation to a scripture text and instantly see people follow along on anything from phones to tablets to a number of other items that are not the book-with-pages version of the Bible.

We encourage conversation, whether parents with children, or adults with adults. This new technology is great, but hearing, feeling and sharing our voices is irreplaceable.