Social media Family relationships
Ten years ago I started my brand of journalism, Banana Moments, to understand intimately and educate about how cyber-connectivity is impacting our youth, ourselves and the new demands on parents to govern the home. For me it was a matter of life and death as mobile connectivity ushered into the world a cyber realm with which the heart and mind of every precious soul must contend.
This is a game changer for simply being the parent and what it means to be a kid.
And still what has not changed is that our desire to protect and save the children from hardship requires us to first save ourselves from the same fate. For we cannot give what we do not have in order to overcome the world: love, peace and joy.
Beware of adult peer pressure
A recent blog post in Mamapedia articulates beautifully this dilemma of the modern parent and child. In her article, “Parenting before social media: Was it Easier?”, blogger Jennifer Ball makes an excellent point for the anxiety-inducing constant pressure modern moms feel from social media-centric living where steady streams of photos and “likes” redirect your attention, your heart and mind, to be perfect by creating magical moments for their children. It is a performance act that seeks applause and acknowledgement from others who are not family. She ponders:
“And that’s the thing: do these parents, the dress-making, fondant-rolling, dinosaur-posing ones…would they do all of this if there was no place to post pictures? If the only likes or comments or shares they got were from their children?”
This is the pivotal question. Seriously, we must ask ourselves, “Am I relating to my child, spouse, friend, or am I choosing to give all my attention to ‘the world’ when I am taking photos and posting and seeking status updates?” And so it goes, being purpose-driven requires us to take command over our own heart and mind. And that means attention management in a cyber-powered world.
“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”
― James Allen,
Great philosophers like James Allen and Kahlil Gibrand offer beautiful analogies of what this means to take command of the realm of hearts and minds. Allen summons up the image of managing attention to thoughts like cultivating a garden. One might imagine bad or negative thoughts as weeds that will take us over if we allow it. So we have the power to choose what to plant and what to remove so as to create our own Garden of Eden from within.
“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (1923)
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