Sunday, December 6, 2015

Real communication between the generations is under threat


From my latest article at The Electric Agora:

"The logician and writer (as Lewis Carroll) of books for children, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, famously (and more or less innocently though I’m not so sure about the nude photographs, etc.) enjoyed the company of prepubescent girls, the daughters of his social circle. I certainly wouldn’t like his chances of organizing similar contacts today. The tragedy, however, is that opportunities for a whole range of perfectly ordinary (and proper) interactions between older and younger people are slowly but surely disappearing.

New technologies are playing a big role here. Apart from their influence on patterns of perception and cognition, etc., there is also the fact that digital media have produced a situation where information and entertainment is directly available and does not need to be sought so much from older people (parents, teachers, gentlemen logicians…). Everything you ever wanted to know about anything but were afraid to ask is now readily available, embarrassment-free, from documentary sources or from a hugely extended peer group; and we are drowning in entertainment options."