Hope Your 4th was a Good One?

by jack

Sorry for the slow postings, I took the weekend off!  But, I am back because we have a lot too discuss.   Couple of things, first is the Iran situation and the border issues.  I’ve also been thinking about why we are so divided as a nation.

There was a book that came out about 2 years ago called, “Bowling Alone” and gives some great insight where we seem to be heading as a society.    The book illustrates how people are becoming socially isolated and we see this most in our kids today…that is scary.  Teen suicide is at record levels.

In Bowling Alone, Author Putnam, uses data from a wide variety of sources.  He shows that social capital and engagement have declined in areas such as organizational membership, attending religious services, attending club meetings, and interacting with others face-to-face in communities.

Putnam suggests several explanations for this decline and argues that generational succession accounts for about half of the overall change. He also examines what the deficit in social capital is doing to individuals, communities, and America. Finally, he discusses how America could reverse the trend and start revitalizing social capital.

I watched a group of high schoolers crossing the street a few months back and noticed something really odd.  90% were talking on their cell phone or playing a game on their phone.  If this is what’s meant by generational succession then that’s really sad.

More on this and other things…. later.  Yard work calls!    Anything you care discuss, please send me a comment.

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2 Responses to Hope Your 4th was a Good One?

  1. RHT447 says:

    “90% were talking on their cell phone or playing a game on their phone.”

    “Numerous studies have shown that excessive amounts of screen time damages the brain by causing gray matter atrophy, compromising white matter integrity, reducing cortical thickness, impairing cognitive functioning and debilitating dopamine function. A lot of the damage occurs in the frontal lobe part of the brain, which undergoes the most drastic changes in the early teen years to mid-twenties, and can affect everything from a person’s relationship building skills to their overall sense of well being. Even children who aren’t technically “addicted” to mobile devices are at risk of suffering damage to their developing brains if they’re regular users who spend several hours a day using them.”


    Forbidden Planet–

  2. Chris says:

    That sounds like an interesting book, Jack. Unfortunately from what I have read, our culture has only gotten more socially isolated in the twenty years since it’s been published, and you’re right that that has a lot to do with our current levels of political division. I think it was Liz Bruenig who said recently that when people don’t feel fulfilled by local connections, or a sense of belonging from smaller groups, they are more likely to start shaping their identity around political parties or other more tribal entities, even extremist groups. The most easily recruited members of ISIS aren’t necessarily the most religiously informed or devout, they’re just the ones that feel the most socially isolated (whether that feeling is justified or not). We see the same thing in mass shooters or in those that join extremist groups based on racial identity. We see a lot of social isolation among people who are part of the alt-right or the men’s rights movement, for instance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same could be said of members of Antifa. Bruenig argues that incentivizing involvement at the local, community level is the best way to curb this problem of isolation and division; does Putnam reach the same conclusion?

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