chapter  1
15 Pages

What is lost, what is gained in the digital age

ByAnne J. Adelman

This chapter explores the impact of social media on the inner lives of adolescents and on the contemporary relationship between parents and their young adult children. In the age of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, children are virtually tethered to their peers as they were once psychologically tethered to their parents. Technology bypasses the struggles and challenges of learning to be alone. Parents struggle with feeling abandoned or rendered obsolete in their teen’s social world. In their interactions with their children, they are forever contending with the presence of social media, which creates a “virtual third” in the relationship. This chapter explores the various dynamics of how the parent-child relationship weathers these developmental changes – when it works well, and when it gets derailed.