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Keeping in Contact September 14, 2009

Posted by Andrew in Families.
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As I was perusing the Sunday papers I noticed a gadget for sale which is a child’s digital watch with a GPS locator in, so that parents can keep tabs on where their offspring are. But more than that, if the strap is undone by anyone other than the parent it sends a text to the parent letting them know that this has happened.

Now as someone old enough to remember growing up in the days when we went off playing for an hour or two with our parents knowing roughly where we were, this all seems a bit odd. I know we parents can worry but where does this all end? When do we equip children to be out of contact?

I wonder if we are in danger of creating a very infantile culture. It seems to me that babies need to be in constant contact, and we want to know where babies are to make sure they’re safe. But isn’t part of maturing the ability to be out of contact and be able to negotiate life safely? But as we are constantly connected either by GPS watch, or mobile, or Facebook… when do we mature?


Real Friends? August 3, 2009

Posted by Andrew in Media, Young people.
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There’s been 3 items about social networking that have caught my attention in the past few days

The first was the report written by 15 year old Matthew Robson claiming that few of his friends ued Twitter and wanted stuff for free off the internet. It seems to challenge some of the previously held views about the way teenagers use the internet

Second was Archbishop Vincent Nichols reflections that over use of soical networking leads to young people not being able to form authentic friendships

Finally was Thought for the Day by Giles Fraser that argued that too often church was only interested in ‘thick communities’ ie the traditional close knit community. Whereas for young people who were different, either through ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith, fashion or whatever then the ‘thin community’ on-line provided a place for them to find genuine community.

Different views, different ages. No real conclusions but a discussion that youthworkers need to keep up with in the coming years / months / weeks depending on how fast all this changes!

Respect July 24, 2009

Posted by Richard in Uncategorized.
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I watched Death of Respect last night. I have only just realised that it is part 2 and so will have to watch part 1. As it was looking at broken Britain it was not an upbeat portrayal of soceity but this morning a few thoughts from it linger in my head.

A key question was where does a sense of community come from. This is a tough question as the last 40 years have seen a quest for individual gain. We all know our rights and what we can get but few people know how to or have been shown how to contribute. How can we lead the way and create community where people feel they want to contribute, invest time, energy and therefore resepct where they live and forge local community?

There was a great example where a primary school was doing a fantastic job in the education of its pupils. It also happened to be an area of huge poverty where the headteacher wanted these children to be educated, have skills and remain in the community and thus being the agents of change. Poverty cannot be an excuse for poor education.

How we help create community in our local areas where we find our neighbours living and working is vital. As we do this we will help bring God’s Kingdom to our local neighbourhoods and this may be tougher and more relevant than getting people to attend our courses in church or come back to church.