There was a time when we lived in a world without borders. In an age before the United Nations, free trade zones or countries. In those dark ages way back when, people lived in villages and often nomadic tribes. There was no clear borders and for mostly people moved freely.
Today you may think we live in a world with clear borders; you may think when border police capture illegal immigrants and take them to task for coming into “our” country is the right thing. But it doesn’t matter because the Internet makes all borders, all countries meaningless.
By extension the Internet through smartphones removes personal boundaries. At this stage in the technology revolution you have an unprecedented increase in wireless communication. At any given time there are thousands if not millions of signals passing through your room whether you want to allow them or not.
This is not so much about privacy as it is about safeguarding your personal space – between you and other – your individuality. When I studied body language with my salsa teacher, it became clear to me that how we control our personal space, forms our identity. Of course there are cultures where you do not care about this, and others who are obsessed about it. They are extremes.
Enter the post-Bluetooth world of Smartphones, the always-on generation. You live in a world without boundaries because you can have whatever you want, whenever you want. You may not always discern the consequences of this freedom.
Freedom to do whatever you want leads to experimentation. Children do this from a young ages when they try to find the limits of the world as they know it. They put things into their mouths, hit objects against the floor or table, and play with unlimited curiosity.
So in a recent news article about a teacher who was sexting with students in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, I posted this comment, “Where there are no boundaries, there are no limits. Remember this parents!”
After 10 years of research I found most parents do not set boundaries on how they children use social media or smartphones. They may not do this for various reasons like not understanding the technology, or being preoccupied with their own escape into cyberspace.
It all starts with boundaries. Parents who set clear boundaries help to make the world a better place. Fathers usually reinforce boundaries, both emotionally and physically. Dr Warren Farrell first got my attention in his book “Father and Child Reunion” on this matter of boundaries in children.
A world without boundaries is not the panacea of the 21st century. It may turn out to be your Achilles’ heal. Limits are not constraints in the sense of preventing you from doing what you want. Instead it helps your children develop step by step. It also helps you to learn how to say “no!” when it’s required.