Wednesday, April 9, 2014

'Yourkids' Antisocial? No, Just Towards You.

 
They're so...
Why are Millenials and the teens that make up the generation behind them so 'anti-social'? Millenials, the generation born between 1980 and 1995 ( about 80 million strong) have been maligned,  exalted, and held suspect as we try to figure out what they'll will become once in power. 60 minutes' Morley Safer described them as the "the generation that only takes yes for an answer." They're apparently responsible for the downfall of social events. They're detached, disaffiliated, and always on their phone. Well, 'on their phone' might be the wrong description, staring at their phone and typing might be more appropriate. No one uses their phone to call anymore.

They also remind me a lot about my generation (Generation X). We were told that we could only offer up grunge and slack when were coming of age. We heard many of the same messages, we were spoiled, not motivated, and anti-social. The world was in poor hands.

The Kids' Are Alright
Kids still interact, still form groups and hang out with friends. They still seek acceptance and a sense of belonging, It's just that their method has changed. Social media is by definition a way to share and socialize. Their just not necessarily 'social' with the people in the room.

They are not 'anti-social', they're just anti-social-media with you.  

Facebook is still the thing, but the profile that grandma sees is not necessarily the only one 'Yourkids' maintain. I'm okay with that. I worry about it, but I'm okay with it. Kids need to have their own world, their own way. That's how they become who they are.

Digital Citizenship and Digital Footprint
The growth and prevalence of social media make my job as a father and teacher all that more important. Once grandma got on Facebook, it was dead to many teens.  They've sought out places where adults aren't. Kids always have. Always will.

If adults try keep up, stay on top, or even ban these methods of socializing, they will be unhappy with the results. There will always be something new, newer, or the newest that you don't know about.

Content on internet can be unsavory and being safe is important. Taking steps to protect your private information, necessary. I think it's better to teach kids the responsibilities that come along with all that access and sharing.  Nothing is private. Bad Tweets have consequences. We need to focus less on controlling  or banning and focus more on rules for behavior that make sense.

My "Grandma Rule" - If you wouldn't share it, say it or show it to your Grandma, don't post it, snap it, or type it"

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photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc