My husband and I watch with amazement as our teens embrace all types of social media with gusto. No reticence involved. Fingers ablaze, they tap away with an uncannily speedy thumb agility that will be the death of learning proper typewriting in our day....er...keyboarding, as they call it now.
So here’s what’s in/out from what I can see on my end:
Facebook is passé for the teens mostly...”only old people us that, Mom”.... They’ll hop on for family photos from time to time, but that’s about it. Instead, they have moved on to Snapchat, instant photos that can only be opened by the recipient twice before being banished into thin internet air, Instagram, permanent photos upon which people can comment briefly and “like” in droves if the pic is cool enough and Vine, my favorite, the new 6 second crazy-like videos you can take of whatever is going down at the moment. Vines repeat over and over once you open one, driving listeners mad when locked in a car for long drives! Vines don’t disappear unless you delete them! Yikes!
From my viewpoint as a Mom of two teen girls, there seems to be high competition for “likes” on photos, usually of oneself, I guess pumping up one’s self-esteem. Nowadays, kids really groove on this type of recognition. They vie for “likes” and see who will be the victorious poster of the week. It’s quite funny to observe and all done tongue in cheek, but still....I wonder.
Like a garden, they are harvesting acceptance with “likes” and looking for belonging to their group. This generation of “Millennials” is what Joel Stein calls the “ME, ME, ME Generation” on the cover of Time magazine, a group of kids who have “mutated to adapt to their environment.” Adaptation is good, don’t get me wrong, but Joel does not yet have teens!
I wonder if the incessant texting, picture posting for likes and vine videoing is tarnishing their ability to have a good time and be present, to make real friends that last like glue. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe this is the new way of having fun, making friends and what is more present than a Vine video? :) Despite my annoyance with it all..... I think it’s just the old fashioned in me that wants them to go out and play outside.... I am amazed with kid’s ability to key into what’s relevant and have fun with it.
Yes, I sometimes take away the phones when necessary to the great despair of my kids who act as if their lifeline has been cut and they will shrivel and die immediately if they can’t text Janie with the latest drama. The way I look at it, it’s my job to be aware and teach my kids how to first, love themselves, and second how to nourish love from others human beings sans technology.
What I need to come to terms with is that the “smart” apparatus is a 24/7 attachment to the palm and they are used to it now...no going back. Adaptation. Heck, even I’m used to it and am a harvester of likes in my own right with my business pages! Guilty!
SHOW ME SOME LOVE! :)