“Andy Braner is able to put his “proverbial thumb” on the most important issues facing today’s adolescent culture whose lives are digitally tethered to electronics. Discussing topics such as internet porn, self-worth from social media, fitting in with society away from electronics and suicide, he truly “gets” this technology generation. His sound, Christian-based approach is woven into short and easy to read chapters providing valuable insight to both youth and adults alike. Every home needs a copy!”
~Greta Perry, Mother of 2 teens and a tween, loves life on and off-line, blogger, wired electronically most the time, owner of Kickify~
As the mother of 2 teen boys and a tween girl, I jumped at the chance to review the book Alone: Finding Connection in a Lonely World
by Andy Braner due to be released on October 15th. The fact that I am Jewish and this is a Christian-based book, does not alter my recommendation for it at all. It just helps me put the author’s views into perspective. I created my company Kickify out of my love for the internet and online media and have spent more hours than you can imagine out there in the digital trenches. I am always grateful that my generation did not grow up with social media and the technology we have today. Can you imagine having your adolescence and early adulthood activities plastered all over the internet for the world to see?
Not too long ago, a long time virtual friend told me I had the perfect life. My response was that I only let the social media world see what I choose for them to see. I make a true effort to only put my best pictures out there, never discuss private home issues or air any personal dirty laundry. Andy discusses how this “false social media” world can be detrimental to teens and can damage their self-esteem and measure of self-worth. The number of Retweets on Twitter, friends on Facebook or Instagram or amount of text messages received, should never define a person’s life. Social media also gives many an opportunity to fill a void of true connections in their off-line life and allows them to present an on-line persona that may be the antithesis of their true life or how they feel inside. Again, the “false social media” can be dangerous for the impressionable teen.
Sadly, I’ve seen many adults air a “Jerry Springer” show online – ugh! Put kids behind the social media/electronic wheel and things can be just as bad if not worse. Being online savvy and studying adults behavior carefully every day, certainly did not prepare me for a 12 year old war on Instagram! After reading this book, my instinct to delete that account was curbed and instead we will work through this together. We all know kids will do what you tell them not to do, behind your back. Heck, we all did that!
We all need to learn how to put down electronics and “be there,” savor the moment, enjoy alone time and time with others off-line. After being half-way through the book, I went out to the local pub to watch a football game with my hubby. On either side of us were singles males – all on their phones!!! I want my children to embrace technology to enhance their lives, not to hinder them. I feel much more empowered and armed with knowledge after reading this book and hope you will feel the same.