Welcome to my new website, Family Bridge! This is your one-stop look at life in an interconnected global society. My aim is to bridge the gap across different countries and ethnic groups to uncover the truth that we really are all family, living in one world. It has occurred to me recently that with the development of technology, our world is growing smaller and smaller. We can no longer afford to live in our own little bubble that consists of school, work, and home. With worldwide news and our access to the internet, it becomes harder, and harder if not impossible to ignore global incidents and affairs. It’s almost to the point that no matter where you live, you’re access to television, internet and radio is frequent if not unlimited. This “global family” as I like to call it has become something of a passion of mine since I started some college courses on global affairs. I would love to share some unique insights and thoughts I have about how we as individuals can remain engaged in our surroundings, beginning with our own local communities and eventually branching out to our global community. I have been made aware recently of how our little cellular devices can be very destructive. Think about it. How long has it been since you checked your cell phone? Thirty seconds? One minute? Are you on it right now? Once you notice how frequently people spend their time on their phone, you will not be able to forget. Step one in engaging in your local community is looking up every once in a while. Engage in meaningful conversations with others, get involved in groups in the community that have interests similar to yours, and get away from screens every so often. I don’t know about you, but my family had a strict no phones at the dinner table policy. This “forced” us into conversation and helped us become genuinely curious, concerned and invested in each other’s lives. I went to a friend’s house a few months back for dinner and my experience there reaffirmed for me why the phones should be used in greater moderation. I was sitting at a table with five other people, and I am completely serious when I say that it was so silent you could here a pin drop on the floor. It was uncomfortable and disheartening to se people on Facebook and Instagram rather than conversing with each other. Overcoming this habit of hiding behind our devices is the first step in reinforcing our local identity as a connected community.
I don’t want you to misunderstand me when I say that phone use needs to decrease. I do NOT think that phones are evil. I think that they are a tool. The user is the one who decides whether the phone is destructive or constructive. One one hand, mobile devices (as well as computers and televisions) can permanently damage relationships and also people’s social skills and ability to converse with others. On the other hand, the internet connects us with people all around the world. We have access to global news, people in other countries, loved ones across the seas, and current events. The pendulum can swing both ways. The questions really is, what are you doing to increase the strength of the relationships in your local community? Are you hurting or helping?