We live in a time of maximum media input and heightened technological interaction. For most of us, this is the norm. There are articles that remind us to turn off our phones more often, as though we can’t think of this on our own anymore. A vast number of people sleep with their phones next to their heads at night, as though it is a lover or a sibling. I can’t help wonder what kind of effect this has on us, although there’s no way to know yet for sure. It’s too soon. Science has yet to catch up with our modern habits.
Information comes to us now at an alarming rate. We often must “tailor our feeds” to receive less information when we are overwhelmed. There are ways to create barriers; we turn off ringers and tones, we close our computers, we engage in “digital detox” and spend a few days offline. Televisions are on all around us, and even if we don’t own one, other people do; or they appear in restaurants and waiting rooms where we are powerless to turn them off or change the channel.
Daily, though we may not even be aware of it, we are protecting ourselves from information we don’t want to receive. We choose which links to click and which ones to ignore; we turn off the television, pass by the newsstand, and perhaps we will even turn off our phones for a bit.
We cannot know the scientifically how this culture will impact our children, because there is no way to study it. By the time anything is proven, it would be too late. This leaves us with no choice but to fall back on old faithful—our intuition. Though a mother’s intuition is an ancient tool, it is not often recognized by modern science. So then, not only must we rely on it, but we must rely on it in the face of those who doubt.
In all of this, we must be thinking also how to protect our children. Most likely the young ones are not engaging in social media and smartphones, but the age threshold for this kind of engagement lessens each day. Our small children simply receive a direct fallout of energetic information from us, the mothers and the parents. Whatever we absorb ends up seeping out from us in the form of—you guessed it—reaction. Fear and stress permeate our skin even when we fight hard to contain ourselves. Our children are like tiny psychic indicators: they always know.
I don’t worry about being too overprotective when it comes to media. It’s everywhere. No matter how I shelter my kids, much of it will still get through. My job is to be vigilant so that my littles will be strong, clear and full of love. So much in the current media undermines love. It creates fear and teaches conflict. Our babies don’t need to learn this yet. We are raising sons and daughters, and we will teach them love. They will eventually look for it elsewhere, but we are the ones who provide the framework for their capacity to access it. This is a tremendous responsibility. It feels essential to protect them from the world of media and excess. They don’t need to see what is on the news and how it is portrayed, and they don’t need to hear us talk about what we see on television. Their tiny spirits and minds will not thrive if burdened with fear about abductions, war or violence.
I am not arguing for ignorance. Our children are brilliant. Let us cultivate that with love. There is plenty of time for fear and for knowing the vast tragedies of the world. Let us delay this for them. They will be better for it, for this kind of protection will allow them to live with love, to cultivate love, to be joyful and to love themselves.
What are ways you teach your children love? What guidelines do you have in place around social media and cultural influence in your home? Let’s have a conversation because this is such an important topic.