Sorry, Not Sorry Teenager’s! The Effects of Too Much Social Media

lucky shirt gangnamOur young ones are unable to go into an establishment and ask for help, directions, or to talk to the receptionist when entering a business. The thought of going in to a bank and asking the teller for a cashiers check or into a restaurant to say, “5 people, please” sends many of them into an absolute shake-fest; a frenzy they cannot compute.

Stage fright

Many develop an unusual phobia if required to have a face-to-face conversation that does not take place on Skype. Teenager’s have it bad. No really–teenager’s struggle with any type of one-to-one communication. Of course they struggle; nothing in our society says they shouldn’t. Everything they own either plugs in or lights up! Why should they need to go into a bank anyway? Most have online banking in which money can be transferred at the click of the mouse. As far as restaurants go, take-out can be ordered online with a quick pick-up. There are even gas stations where food orders can be placed while pumping gas into the car. Grunting is really the only pre-requisite for picking up the order anyway, so, that social interaction doesn’t even count. No, I am speaking of dialogue; meaningful conversations which allow for self-advocacy to further advance social skills.

The lucky shirt

We simply cannot understand their frustration. I don’t even think they can explain their frustration. What do they have to compare it to? Nothing! Nada! Zilch! Short of giving our kidlet’s a “lucky shirt” so they are able to speak with someone in the flesh, there most likely is nothing we can do about it.

Another blunder

This is partly our fault. We first taught our babies how to talk and say, “hello.” Then, somewhere around third grade we handed them a cellphone or an IPod. Kids in kindergarten have their own personal communication devices and have become very proficient on social media. It’s true. I say partly our fault because we compete with the manufacturer’s that offer peace of mind in the form of two-way radios and “walkies-talkies.” Just like a buffet where our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, we fall to the hype and allow our own desires as justification for the reason our children have better technology than we do. Just another thing to blame on bad parenting.

Thankless effort

Lets face it, this is true for parents as well. Just about everything we want to do might be accomplished online. We don’t even need to leave our house to sign legal papers anymore. Ever heard of “DocuSign”? Our information is out there and, unfortunately, now it seems, so might be our electronic signatures which in my case might be easier to read than my real one. So what argument do we have to enforce autonomy? For that matter, what incentive other than opportunity, do we have to encourage responsibility? There is no longer any reason to teach these kids how to go into a business and ask for service or assistance.

Of course we parent’s have tried. What in the world do you think we are doing every Saturday morning? “Go outside, go play, call your friend and go ride bikes.” In a way, the parents are ultimately responsible for allowing the situation to get to the point where our misunderstood young adults are only led by their own leash. Maybe one day, when they are due for a cellular upgrade, they will possess enough spirit to call and ask for one!

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