Tags

, , , , ,

Meet my friend Olivia Carter. We met in college and now are bloggy friends. She has been involved with Young Life for years and has a passion for mentoring teen girls in her community.

I’m excited for her to share with you today what she’s recently been learning about communications from the teens she works with. Enjoy!

__________________________________________________________________

I have had the privilege of doing ministry with high school girls for the last 5 years. They are a complete joy in my life. I learn so much from them. Being 9 years older, I can see that the girls I get to work with have definitely been raised in a different generation. The way they communicate is far from the way I communicated with my friends growing up. High school teens these days have been raised in the technology generation from the start and something I have come to learn is that this has hindered their face-to-face communication skills.

It’s not their fault. They have the world at their fingertips, literally. Texting is great, so quick, easy and efficient. So is Facebook and other social media, wonderful tools to actually help communication, staying in touch, linking people together and creating community, but social media can’t be our only way of communication. The average teen sends 3,417 text messages per month and unfortunately are having conversations over text that really need to be had in person.

I know from experience that the best way to solve a fight, apologize, find out what’s going on, share feelings, begin or end a relationship is in person. My sweet friends just beginning high school do not always think of this as their first option for monumental, important conversations and I have already seen how this negatively effects their relationships with one another.

If I’m honest, I’m almost worse than they are. They were raised this way and don’t know any better, but me, I know the right thing and will too often fall into the convenience of a text instead of a phone call. We don’t want to lose the art of face-to-face conversation just because we have the incredible tools of technology. Let’s not ruin something so great by abusing it and not being able to sit in a room together and converse face-to-face. There is so much value in this that we will miss out on.

Is this something you’ve seen in the younger generation? What can we do to have a balance between using and abusing technology?

 

You can find Olivia on Twitter and on her blog.