Being a father of four in this day and age is not an easy task, but it is incredibly rewarding!
Although work takes the bulk of our time, family usually takes the bulk of our energy.
A few days ago, as my wife and I reflected on our children (who span ages 1 to 18), we could not help but think about the role technology and media play in their present and will play in their future. But more important, how these things will shape their attitudes toward life, work, and human interactions. Finding a way to properly manage technology and personalized media has become an ever-increasing challenge.
For me, meaningful media is not about one device, one channel, or one platform; it is about finding a balance between technology and human interaction. After all, society has not yet produced adults who were born with an iPhone (first released June 29, 2007) or an iPad (April 3, 2010) practically in their hands.
What kind of adults will they be? Maybe smarter, more agile, and capable of handling more information and making quicker decisions. Or will they be absent from reality, self-absorbed, or oblivious to the beauty of nature and the simple things? Will they have difficulties communicating and interacting, even at the most superficial levels?
Though these questions concern us, we cannot deny the benefits that come with technology and the meaningfulness it brings to our lives: using Instacart to get groceries delivered quickly so I can spend more time with my family; a WhatsApp group chat so I can get in touch with my high school friends in Peru and plan our next reunion; Facebook so I can share pictures of my one-year-old with cousins in Spain; Ancestry.com to find long-lost relatives in Croatia; Pinterest to negotiate remodeling our kitchen with my wife without risking divorce; and many, many more.
Looking forward, as people increasingly internalize the impact of technology on their lives, meaningful media will have to take into account that necessary equilibrium. This will be the key for truly long-lasting meaningful media.