Last week, on the radio program we looked at the problems of over-wired kids and young people who hurt themselves as a habit — the problem usually known as “cutting.” Both programs brought an avalanche of callers and e-mails, and for good reason. Thank you for your messages and calls to the program. I am very thankful for your good comments and for your urgent interest. We decided to do the show on cutting after several youth ministers, pastors, and parents in evangelical churches asked us to do so. It was clearly the right thing to do. To listen to the program on wired kids, go here. For the program on cutting, go here.
Just consider the opening paragraphs of the TIME main article:
It’s 9:30 p.m., and Stephen and Georgina Cox know exactly where their children are. Well, their bodies, at least. Piers, 14, is holed up in his bedroom–eyes fixed on his computer screen–where he has been logged onto a MySpace chat room and AOL Instant Messenger (IM) for the past three hours. His twin sister Bronte is planted in the living room, having commandeered her dad’s iMac–as usual. She, too, is busily IMing, while chatting on her cell phone and chipping away at homework.
By all standard space-time calculations, the four members of the family occupy the same three-bedroom home in Van Nuys, Calif., but psychologically each exists in his or her own little universe. Georgina, 51, who works for a display-cabinet maker, is tidying up the living room as Bronte works, not that her daughter notices. Stephen, 49, who juggles jobs as a squash coach, fitness trainer, event planner and head of a cancer charity he founded, has wolfed down his dinner alone in the kitchen, having missed supper with the kids. He, too, typically spends the evening on his cell phone and returning e-mails–when he can nudge Bronte off the computer. “One gets obsessed with one’s gadgets,” he concedes.
Sound like any family you know?