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Friday, January 12, 2018

Connection is why we are here

Many years ago I came across an invigorating talk from Brene Brown*. She spoke about several wonderful things on discovering worthiness, the power of vulnerability and other key attributes that define our social behavior. But there was one thing that stuck with me. Connection is why we are here. Inherently whatever we do and how we interact, we want to feel connected to others. It is our most primal and social urge of being. Now think the world today, we cannot imagine our lives without a computer, tablet or a phone. As an adult these are great resources that help us get through our days. These are also great tools for growth and development for our future generation - with one caveat. It needs to be designed and used the right way. The digital space is like a playground, I guess we need better playground equipments. Yet here we are today when almost all the apps that our kids interact with on their tablets and computers lack the most important aspect of human development - collaboration. The lexical meaning of collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce something. Yet it encompasses much more than that - it is Darwinian. It is how we humans have thrived through millions of years of evolution. It is the art of true collaboration that will help us progress. The opportunities are limitless for the touch-screen generation. My second-grader’s class uses a seesaw account (https://web.seesaw.me/) to share their accomplishments with each other and with their parents. Think facebook but the network can only be accessed by the class-parents and students can post things after their teacher has approved them. So it’s not just a closed environment but it is both a monitored as well as a mentored space. It’s a great way for parents to connect with their child’s achievements. At the same time it’s a great way to teach the next generation the importance of responsible social collaboration in the digital space. And that is the only way to thrive and evolve.