Family Rapport Vital in Digital Age

Family Rapport Vital in Digital AgeFamily Rapport Vital in Digital Age

The International Day of Families is observed globally on May 15 every year. Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993, the occasion reflects the importance attached to families by the international community, providing an opportunity to promote awareness on issues relating to families and the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them.

This year’s international day is themed “Families, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Future”, and accordingly it aims to raise awareness of the role of families in promoting healthy lives for a sustainable future, reports the online portal of the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs.

A growing concern among families within and outside Iran is the phenomenon of social networks and the threats they present to social wellbeing of individuals, particularly those in the vulnerable age.

Maysam Abbasi, a senior expert with the Cyberspace Police draws attention to the role families’ play in monitoring children’s presence and conduct in the World Wide Web.

“Today, a growing number of kids are more familiar with new communications technologies than their parents, and as the latter are not moving at the same pace, they are lagging behind in keeping up with the technologies and the perils they pose,” to their children, he told IRNA.

In the real world, knowing where their children are physically present is of great importance to parents, but “it is rarely the case when we talk about the gigantic world of cyberspace,” Abbasi added.

   Virtual But Real

Aside from the vast advantages the new technologies bring to everyday life, the social implications of social media in the virtual world are, however, unfavorable in many ways.

In addition to being detrimental at the work place and/or school, they deprive one of privacy and time for face-to-face interaction with loved ones, leave people vulnerable to depression and crimes as well as cyber-bullying and online harassment, unfounded and potentially dangerous relationships, and bring about poor social skills and misinformation.

A recent study on Forbes said only 36% of parents frequently talk to their kids about online behavior towards others.

Stressing the necessity of monitoring the time children spent online, Abbasi said parents should build a rapport with their children by discussing the ongoing events in the virtual space and giving their opinion.

The main goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development focus on social development and people’s well-being, with families at the center of social life ensuring the welfare of their members, educating and socialization of children and youth, and caring for the young and old.

The International Day of Families has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many countries, it provides an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families. In Iran, the day is observed on the 25th day of the lunar year month of Dhu al-Hijjah which this year coincides with September 2