Monday, July 25, 2005

In the San Francisco Gate today, a mom laments the fragmenting of her relationship with her son. She blames much of it on instant messaging. She writes:

Raising teens these days is difficult enough, but for parents of the baby boom generation instant messaging has made the task harder and more confusing than any of us could have envisioned. When I was in high school and a boy would call me at home, my father could pick up the receiver in the kitchen and growl, "Who is this?" and know instantly who the terrified male on the other end was. If he wanted to cut me off, he simply removed the phone from my room. (And, if that was ineffective, the jack went too.) There was no automated voice-mail Internet Service Provider to call, no complicated service contract to negotiate.

See the entire article here.

I don't buy it. Teens have always found a way to circumvent parents. They write diaries. They lie about where they are going. They skip school. They necked (and worse) in cars. American teens have always been able to find a way to lead a life separate from their parents. Whenever someone says, "this is an old story, but this time it's different," I don't believe it. The stock market bubble? This one is different. The real estate bubble? This one is different.

Sure, sometimes it is different, but I think that requires proof. Is teaching harder--different--these days? I seem to think so, but I actually don't know if that's true. Is raising a kid harder these days? Watch Rebel Without a Cause and answer that question. It seemed pretty hard in the 50s.

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