chapter  2
14 Pages

Growing up in a world of cell phone technology

WithChristie M. Platt

The author explores issues of separation and individuation through the lens of her own experience in the 1970s as contrasted with her son’s experience today. She hitchhiked through Africa in part to achieve a separation from her family. The only communications she had with her family were by letter. Her son has lived in Turkey for the past five years; when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive in his neighborhood, she knew it within a couple of hours of the event and was able to ascertain that he was safe within a few minutes. What is the effect of technology on the parent-child relationship? Did the lack of communication the author experienced facilitate her development or hinder it? At what point in the process did the author leave home, as compared with her son? Does the ease with which we can be in touch today enable her son to pursue the life he wants without feeling that he has to sacrifice his attachment to family? These are some of the questions the author addresses.