Technology & Catholic Family Life…

Technology & Catholic Family Life…

I’ve often heard parents (and not just Catholic parents) expressing the view that the increased use of modern technology is detrimental to family life – especially television.  Yet, this report seems to say the opposite.

Do parents worry too much about the influence of TV and other modern forms of communication?  Is TV, mobile phones etc. really detrimental to family life – especially Catholic family life?

Comments (35)

  • gabriel syme

    Editor – this is a good idea for a thread and I think the recent tragic suicide of a girl who was bullied online, (a recent secular news item), is a great example of the dangers modern communications technology can pose to young (and all) people.

    In some ways, the internet is a good thing. Its like having an excellent reference library in your own home. And, of course, we can access the Catholic Truth webpage because of it!

    But in other ways, the internet is a horrible thing, as shown by the tragedy mentioned above.

    Certainly unregulated internet use is dangerous for children. They can be bullied by others, contacted by adults who would seek to abuse them, and access all manner of pornography.

    The pornography is the most acute aspect, as children are already at risk of bullying or abuse. The internet really represents a new medium for such, as opposed to a brand new threat. However, internet pornography makes a complete mockery of all secular laws designed to regulate it in traditional form (shop-bought magazines or films).

    Within seconds of sitting down at a PC, anyone can easily access pornographic material – for free – completely bypassing the supposed safeguards of are-restricted products. Free pornography is now so common that its actually difficult to believe at times that it is still a lucrative industry. Worse, material can be accessed which is actually illegal in the UK (e.g. violent or especially depraved material). A young teen could be freely looking at material online, which an adult would be prosecuted for buying or selling in a traditional transaction.

    Pornography is a particularly nasty vice, like a drug. Like all forms of liberal indulgence, it is a downward spiral. As users naturally become bored with existing types, then pornography naturally has to become increasingly more bizarre / odd / perverted in order to maintain interest.

    I would argue that, rather than the traditional depiction of bawdy/”naughty” – but supposedly harmless – material for consenting adults, pornography has become a kind of freak show, which the same type of appeal as the grisly videos of beheadings and executions which are posted online by the ghouls and monsters of this world.

    And, just as life becomes cheap to the desensitised eyes of those who watch such grisly videos, so too does human sexuality become distorted and confused for those who regularly indulge in internet pornography. The media has often commented on this latter phenomenon, which often manifests in the sense of young women being shocked by sexual demands which they think are depraved, but which young men think are normal*.

    (*A good comparison to this effect is how secular society has lost any idea of what fundamental human sexuality is, and many people seem to genuinely believe – absurdly – that two people of the same gender can actually have sex together. They cannot – what they do is not sex, which requires two partners to combine their sexual organs).

    All this is why I think the Government is right to be talking about some kind of new and sweeping internet controls. However, I would argue that such controls are at least 15 years too late.

    The exact same problems exist with mobile phones. But these also feature a another risk – cameras, which can capture and send images, and instances where private or humiliating pictures of an individual (often youngsters) have been placed online, in order to deliberately hurt or ridicule them, is by now an old story.

    So there are pros and cons to modern technology, but I think Petrus, Athanasius and others have hit the bulls-eye when they talk of moderate and responsible use of technology. If responsible habits can be taught to children early on, then any threat from technology is greatly reduced.

    You often hear that video games are damaging to youngsters, in that they can normalise violence. But I don’t buy that myself. I think even children can distinguish between a game and reality, especially when the game is on a computer or tv screen. I would argue that video games no more normalise violence than childs games of “cowboys and Indians” or “soldiers” do, played out with plastic rifles and vocal-imitation-gunfire.

    I occasionally enjoy video games myself, the strategy genre. I at times fancy myself as an armchair Rommel, or a Guderian. (Who said Franco?! :-P).

    Sorry for such a long post!

    August 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      No need to apologise for any of your posts – long or short, they are always excellent.

      I would, however, warn against trusting the Government when they speak of internet controls. If they were serious about curbing porn they would cease all sex education for children. The “porn problem” is just another excuse for them to keep an eye (literally) on us.

      I don’t trust politicians of whatever Party. End of. If the national culture were to frown upon impurity in all its forms, the “porn problem” would take care of itself, in my humble (but always expert) opinion…

      August 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

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