What Skenazy dubbed free-range parenting used to be the standard — the way that Generation Xers and those before them were raised, with parents letting kids outside in the morning to play and not expecting them back home until dinnertime. If children got hurt or lost, their parents had faith that they would eventually get home safely — and more often than not, they did.
The switch to more protective parenting happened gradually, but the 1980s was a turning point, marked by high-profile crimes including the 1981 abduction and murder of 6-year-old Adam Walsh from a Florida mall. At the same time, schools became more rigorous amid fears that American children couldn’t compete globally, and some parents began to jam-pack their children’s schedules with structured extracurriculars.
“Children’s freedom to go out and explore has declined and the amount of time children are spending in school and doing homework and other school-like activities like adult-directed sports and classes has increased,” said Peter Gray, a psychology research professor at Boston College and the author of “Free to Learn.”
As parents with the time and resources to do so began to micromanage their kids’ lives, the so-called helicopter parent was born.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.