Welcome back! 2019-2020

Back in the 80s, the year 2020 was “The Future,” a concept that conjured images of flying cars, automated home assistants, and video phones. Now here we are, with two out of those three realized, and way more alongside the digital revolution that has defined the past few decades.

Thanks to technological progress, we can stay more connected with our loved ones who live far away. We can find recipes and answers to troubleshooting questions within seconds. Artificial intelligence and robotics have contributed to major advancements in medicine, social and criminal justice, agriculture, and climate crisis, to name a few.

But, we might have guessed back it in the 80s, that all this progress and convenience would come at a cost. With constant interruptions, we generally have a harder time paying attention. The only antidote to this is to practice paying attention, on purpose, for an extended period of time… aka to practice mindfulness. This can be a hard sell, though, especially for a group of kids (or adults!) already struggling with paying attention and/or focused on “me.” This speaks nothing of then making sense of the many forces competing for our attention…media literacy in the age of Trump is its own lecture series, even/especially for adolescents. 🤪

We’re also generally less patient, more prone toward agitation when we have to wait more than a few seconds for something to load. We hide behind our phones when we feel uncomfortable in social situations. Rates of anxiety, loneliness, and suicide are on the rise. Parents’ worry is high as well. We have questions about our privacy, and about the potential long-term effects of using technology that’s fairly new to humankind.

As such, as we come back for another school year, we turn back to our Responsible Use Policies for Tech; our philosophy of Tech Use at MCDS; and our newly minted school mission. With 2020 upon us, let’s all take a moment to set intentions for self-care and self-awareness in what’s sure to be a wild ride of a year. 🚀