Rod Dreher

A mom is fed up with how communications technology affects her teens and their friends. Excerpt:

All this communication gadgetry is causing obsessive-compulsive behaviors, giving people control over another’s whereabouts that astonishes me. More frightening is puberty–especially for girls. One of Robert’s friends asked 20 different girls “out” just to have their phone number so he can text-message them in the middle of the night. “WARE R U?” Worse, he tries outlandish stuff for shock value-sending photos of dirty socks-which can only lead to, you know: “her formation.”
I’m sorry, but 11-year-olds are socially inept and are not able to process simple concepts of hello and goodbye, let alone how to regulate the amount of calls.
When we were kids, jeez, we rang the doorbell and shyly asked for whomever to play. Now, kids seem to feel if they have a cell phone number, they have inalienable rights to other kids’ souls because they’ve cut the out the middleman–parents. We’ve lost control and have no idea what they’re doing.
You might as well give them keys to drive a car. They know as much about responsible driving as they do about boundaries and social etiquette–and it IS that dangerous. The false power they wield seems to give them a license to disregard parental authority in anyone’s house.
They have all the coolest tools to communicate, but have no clue what they are doing. The compulsive repetition of instant access hypnotizes kids into a false autonomy over others that, to me, is harassment.

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