MEG COXS RITUAL NEWSLETTERSPRING 2011: TECHNOLOGY & TRADITIONSHello, fellow ritual geeks! Im sure that youre finding all mannerof clever and fun ways to celebrate the luscious advent of spring.Its been awhile since I checked in, but Ive begun working hard onthe revised/expanded edition of
The Book of New Family Traditions
andI would love to get your input on part of my new research.My editor and I have been discussing what types of new ritualswould be most valuable to parents, and we talked about how the biggest change in family life since 2003, when the book came out, has to be theexplosion in technology.The ubiquitous smart phones, iPads and the like haverevolutionized how people spend their time and how they relate to oneanother. In addition, social media sites like MySpace and Facebook provide new compelling venues for sharing and bragging. Phoneconferencing software like Skype that allows far-flung friends andfamily to meet face to face is growing fast.I use pretty much all of the above tools, and for the most part, theyhave enhanced my family bonds: I have a regular Sunday phone chat with my sister, but I because I post comments and news on Facebook almost daily, she can take a quick peek whenever she has a moment andsee whats new in my life. I also love that Im FB friends with most of mynieces and nephews, and this has given me a whole new window intotheir lives (like visual proof of their tattoos). Indeed, it was directlybecause my nephew in Cleveland, Stephen, got so caught up in sharingfamily news on Facebook that we scheduled an actual family reunionthis June in North Carolina. Amazing.But many aspects of this new tech tide worry me. I have seen first hand that iPhones and the like are immediately addictive to very smallchildren: quicker than a pacifier or a favorite stuffed animal, theydistract a toddler or baby from the tantrum-in-process. Making themaddictive to Mommies and Daddies too.