I was recently taking part in an interview panel for a Director of Boarding role, and the question was raised regarding just how much the art of conversation has disappeared amongst our young people. The comment was made of the number of time two teenagers were sitting in the same room and were texting each other, not a word was spoken.
Should we be concerned?
I think we should! Even in business we see today the advent of people thinking it is appropriate to text in when they are not able to go to work or are running late, or to send an email to a colleague rather than walking across the office to discuss an idea. What happened to creating teams where everyone is able to collaborate, discuss and come up with the best idea as a group? These discussions are the lifeblood of good business, and ensure the younger and less experienced members learn from those with more experience. If this is done without any personal contact, with no body language watched and with no opportunity to ask deep questions, then younger business people will struggle to develop quickly in their roles.
Those in relationships who text rather than talk, or talk over the phone without really connecting up, don’t actually get the chance to see face-to-face how their partner is actually feeling, and can’t reach out to share a personal touch to help develop the partnership. Many young people today think that texting solves all woes, and fail to see that actually making the physical connection changes everything!
So how can you help the teenagers in your care? Maybe try some ‘device free’ time each weekend, or each night? Maybe provide time and places where friendships can flourish? Maybe teach the art of recognising body language? Maybe have areas in your boarding house where phones can’t be used? Or do you have ideas …..
Food for thought!