Temperance in the digital age
WE need to tackle this big challenge of our time. How do we live temperance in this very intoxicating and addicting world of the social media and the digital gadgets today? We know that these new technologies instantly produce in us a tremendous amount of dopamine that is so difficult to manage, let alone, resist. And these gadgets keep on coming, each time with an improved version, with hardly any manual as to how to use them ethically and prudently.
These new technologies are so new and so irresistible that we, even the old ones with a lot of experience in life, do not have any sound and effective guideline as to how to use them properly. The traditional guidelines do not seem to work well, and in some cases, even tend to aggravate the problem.
The only light that we can see at the end of the tunnel seems to be that some professionals are studying this issue very closely and are now starting to give out some guiding points, even if only tentatively.
Many of these experts are saying that it would be wrong if we would just come out too strong in banning or restricting these gadgets especially from the young ones who will always find a way to get hold of these gadgets, thus producing another variety of anomalies related to deception, cheating, hypocrisy and the like.
Having absolute, restrictive and inflexible indications are now all proven to be counterproductive. What seems to work better is to have the soft, friendly approach where everyone, especially the young ones, are closely accompanied and together find practical ways of how to live temperance in the use of these gadgets.
It’s a kind of mentoring and accompaniment that has to be done. But this, of course, would require the necessary dispositions and structures. Family life should be strengthened, for example, and teacher-and-student and mentor-and-mentee relationship should be marked by friendship and confidence.
Yes, it’s a different ballgame this time on how to develop temperance in this dizzying digital age. At the moment, we are still grappling with the novelty of the phenomenon, but hopefully if we persist with hope and practical sense, we can manage to come out with guidelines that are effective.
For one, we need to loosen up and try to re-evaluate the traditional concepts and ways of developing and living temperance. Of course, we should not junk the traditional ones altogether, but we need to update them and to try exploring the innovative ones that in the end should be an organic extension of the traditional.