By Naomi Yakawich
Global Peace Women and Congress of Paraguay Explore Avenues of Technology and Social Networks in Developing Healthy Families
In celebration of the International Day of Family instituted by the United Nations, more than 150 public officials participated in a forum hosted by Paraguay’s Bicameral Chamber of Congress under Global Peace Women (GPW) Paraguay on May 31. Leaders from government, social, cultural, academic and faith-based organizations gathered under the theme “The Role and Commitment of the Family in the Challenges of Technology and Social Networks.”
Distinguished executives from GPW Paraguay and National Congress were welcomed by cultural music performances, including the national anthem presented by the Chamber Orchestra of the National Police, before speakers contextualized the theme for the assembly.
By promoting awareness and a deeper understanding of the social, economic and demographic processes that affect the family, the forum invited participants to contribute to a dialogue exploring the family as the most fundamental unit supporting society. It is in the family where every human being experiences their first relationships and an environment full of continuous stimuli.
Speakers highlighted the growing impact of technology, the Internet and social networks on constructing “social reality.” Today, information and popular culture travels at the speed of the click of a button, affecting adolescent behavior and emotional development and resulting in a need for greater awareness of both the positive and negative consequences of new technology.
“Before long, it is likely that the average student in the home will listen to the radio or watch television for at least the same time he watches or listens to the teacher at school.”
Forum panelists and moderators described this phenomenon with a look into the cultural influence of mass media. “Before long, it is likely that the average student in the home will listen to the radio or watch television for at least the same time he watches or listens to the teacher at school,” said GPW Paraguay President, María Ester Jiménez. "Laptops, cell phones, videogames, etc, often create conflicts between family members, as they generally imply a lack of communication and understanding in the use and understanding or utility of the aforementioned equipment, which often leads to situations of isolation and marginalization within the family.”
New technology is bringing our world closer as a global community. Utilizing the benefits of the “new age” is an important and beneficial component of spreading positive models of family harmony and collaboration. However, this can only be realized with an awareness of the value of raising healthy families that can contribute to the greater good of society.
Forum speakers included Victorina Espínola de Ruiz Díaz, Advisor to the Constitutional Affairs Committee and Directorate of Culture of the Honorable Chamber of Senators; GPW International Director for Latin America, Cristina de Field; Susana González de Benítez Codas from the Group Curriculum Research Chair in Higher Education; José Antonio Montiel and Juan Pedro González Mateo.