Melanie Jeanne

In the Age of Social Media

The age of social media and kids… My dear friend over at Two Pretzels wrote the perfect post yesterday morning. She wrote it from the heart and with an honesty that needs to be heard loud and clear. Her post, titled Ah, The Selfie Generation, speaks to the topic of the “selfie” and the need for validation through the forum of social media. The following excerpt really hit home with me…

But The Selfie Generation scares me because I want them to experience life; not just take pictures of it.
I want them to realize that success and happiness is not measured in “likes.”
I want them to read the news; not status updates.
I want them to experience silence and quiet conversation-less periods of time.
I want them to experience a missed call.
I want them to go somewhere without a phone in their hand.
I want to them to have conversational skills.
I want them to be able to spell.
I want them to realize that the world of social media is not the real world.

Raising two bonus babies and one bio, this here topic is one that weighs on me a whole lot. I have nieces and nephews to be concerned about too. This here topic, the one of losing ourselves in social media, but not just social media, losing our ability to live life to the fullest due to technology, that scares me.

It scares me that the “selfie generation” knows nothing of simplicity. Since they have been alive, the world has been evolving quickly into a state of constantly “on”. People wake and check their phones in bed, people tuck in still reviewing emails, facebook updates, instagram posts, twitter feeds, etc. Throughout the day breaks consist of peeking at Facebook, Instagraming a photo, playing a game through an app, etc. I fear that kids no longer know what it is like to be a kid, to utilize their imagination, to ride bikes and color and read books, to play barbies and superheroes. It seems they all entertain themselves with technology. All of the littles in my life have iTechnologies; iPhones, iPads, iTouches, iPods… And they all get lost in them. Fading to sleep watching Netflix, zoning out mid-afternoon playing games, waking to check alerts. My Doodle watches movies on the iPad as she settles into bed, my bonus babies fade to sleep watching netflix, wake instagraming and hardly throughout the day are without their phones, my nieces are glued to their iTouches not even glimpsing up to say hello. It is too much, far too much. It saddens me. It scares me. It makes me wonder if we are doing our children a disservice.

It seems as a society, we are no longer connected to individuals, but so very connected to the masses. It seems we are so very disconnected actually, disconnected from real life relationships. Relying on technology for our entertainment. I want to go back in time to when there was one family phone line, with call waiting preferably. I want to go back in time to when there was one family computer that was shared, used primarily for homework, sometimes for games too. I want to go back in time to when evening was time for families to slow down together, agree on one TV show and not be looking at their cell phones the entire time. I want to go back in time to when dinner was slow and that is when we caught up, not when we took pictures of our food and selfies to show the world (I know I am such a conundrum as I love taking photos of food and our dining experiences, it is one of my most frequent topics). I want to go back to a time when the kids did not agree on TV they escaped to their room to read books or independently play, they did not escape to get lost on the internet with one of their many gadgets.

And it’s not just about my littles, I need to revert back to the old ways more often than not. I need to put my phone down and clock out of being connected nearly the minute I walk through the front door. I need to  stop taking photos for the sake of sharing with the world and start taking photos in order to capture memories. I need to stop pinning and start baking. I need to stop living vicariously through others and live the life I want, day in and day out. I need to breathe deep and disconnect from all of my “friends” just a bit more, in order to connect with my family.

I worry about the “selfie generation” simply because I remember what it was like before technology, unless I ensure my littles know, they will never remember “before”. This is the way they are being raised in and the adult generation is letting it happen, poor grammar and all…


1 Comment

  1. rahul

    June 13, 2013 at 2:22 am

    You have a lovely concept in your blog post.

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