The Feb. 16 Maine Voices column about teen dating violence disappoints in its absence of any reference to the most extreme change in the lives of our children: 24/7 access to screen technology, internet and social media. I taught high school for almost 30 years, and the last few saw a stark rise in kids unable to drag themselves away from devices to which they are glued by well-documented addiction.

One horrid aspect of the “information superhighway” is easy access to the express lane of violence, sexual imagery and combinations of the two. Kids know how to get around the restrictive apps.

Young people in the stage of emerging sexuality are in more danger now than ever during that most difficult and vibrant time. Between what’s online and what’s on television, our children’s sexual development is being distorted at a pace unprecedented in history.

Unless we confront the destructive aspects of the tech age, our kids are doomed to be programmed by these as well as by the “good stuff” I hear so much about when folks simply don’t want to face the elephant in the room.

After all, most adults are also hooked on a socially acceptable addiction. Being socially acceptable doesn’t make it any less addictive or destructive. When screen addiction is coupled with pornography addiction, the results can be explosive for young people, who are so much in the social and sexual throes of human change.

Anna Wrobel

Westbrook