Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids

The Dark Side of Social Media

Photo credit: the UMF via Visual hunt / CC BY

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the dark side of Social Media. Now don’t get me wrong, I love being able to stay connected to all my friends and colleagues. It’s great to be able to chat with someone I haven’t seen in years. Social Media is an amazing tool.

I’ve used it when I’m researching information for my stories. I contact people who are experts in their fields and pick their brains. That way, I know what I’m adding to my story is accurate. It makes my story more authentic. Please understand, the people I contact, I’ve already established a relationship with them. I just don’t follow them or add them as a friend and then start bombarding them with questions. 🙂

This is an incredible way to get information, and I can see my kids using social media to do research for papers when they get older, but there’s a dark side to the internet as well.

Not everything on social media is as it seems, and we must teach our littles the difference. First of all, social media is the image someone wants to project. People usually post only about the positive things in their lives. This is okay, no one wants to hang with a Negative Nancy, but it’s only half the picture. Everyone experiences happiness and struggles. We need to remind our kids about that so they don’t get caught up in the world where likes and follows become more important than real relationships.

Photo credit: Kris Olin via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

          It’s sad to say, but it goes even deeper. Teens are using social media to hook up. That means to get together and have sex. They send out a tweet or a post asking if anyone wants to hook up. If someone responds in the affirmative, they make the arrangements. They’re even sending naked photos of themselves via the internet.  Isn’t that scary? In my opinion, social media hinders our ability to connect emotionally as human beings.

Photo credit: Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig, Hiking.org via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

          We need to be cognizant of this trend and turn it around because if we don’t, our kids may never learn to make that emotional connection. We don’t want to lose that because it would mean we’re losing a big part of what makes us human, wouldn’t you agree?

A friend recommended this book to me and I’ve just started it, but it inspired this blog post. I believe it’s important for every parent to read, to understand the climate our kids are trying to navigate today. The cover and blurb are below.

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by [Sales, Nancy Jo]

Instagram. Whisper. Yik Yak. YouTube. Kik. Ask.fm. Tinder. The dominant force in the lives of girls coming of age in America today is social media. What it is doing to an entire generation of young women is the subject of award-winning Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales’s riveting and explosive American Girls.

With extraordinary intimacy and precision, Sales captures what it feels like to be a girl in America today. From Montclair to Manhattan and Los Angeles, from Florida and Arizona to Texas and Kentucky, Sales crisscrossed the country, speaking to more than two hundred girls, ages thirteen to nineteen, and documenting a massive change in the way girls are growing up, a phenomenon that transcends race, geography, and household income. American Girls provides a disturbing portrait of the end of childhood as we know it and of the inexorable and ubiquitous experience of a new kind of adolescence—one dominated by new social and sexual norms, where a girl’s first crushes and experiences of longing and romance occur in an accelerated electronic environment; where issues of identity and self-esteem are magnified and transformed by social platforms that provide instantaneous judgment. What does it mean to be a girl in America in 2016? It means coming of age online in a hypersexualized culture that has normalized extreme behavior, from pornography to the casual exchange of nude photographs; a culture rife with a virulent new strain of sexism and a sometimes self-undermining notion of feminist empowerment; a culture in which teenagers are spending so much time on technology and social media that they are not developing basic communication skills. From beauty gurus to slut-shaming to a disconcerting trend of exhibitionism, Nancy Jo Sales provides a shocking window into the troubling world of today’s teenage girls. 

Provocative and urgent, Ameran Girls is destined to ignite a much-needed conversation about how we can help our daughters and sons negotiate unprecedented new challenges.

Like I said, I just started reading it so I’m sure I’ll have much more to say on the topic at a later date. 🙂 So stay tuned, there’s more to come!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I appreciate it! What do you think? Do you think Social Media has a dark side, or is it all sunshine and unicorns? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Parenting, Slice of LIfe, Uncategorized

Weekend Update: A Slice of Life Post

 

SOLSC on TWT

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post. I enjoy writing these posts and getting to know some of the other Slice of Lifers, too.

Today, I’m reflecting back on our weekend. Both boys had a friend spend the night Friday night, and it was interesting to see how they occupied themselves. Their most favorite thing they did was make You Tube videos.

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http://allthefreestock.com/

How fun is that? The creator of You Tube has made an amazing product. My boys get creative with their videos, and they’re actually quite funny. You have to remember both of my kids are in elementary school.

It’s great they can get online, share their videos, and talk about it with their friends using Skype. I love this App myself. I’ve used it a number of times. Technology certainly has made communicating with others much easier, but we have to be careful, too.

The Internet can be a dangerous place. Predators hang out there just like they do at bus stops and parks. They’re just looking for that one kid who’s lonely and unattended. The same thing applies to the Internet.

We make it a point to know all of our boys’ friends. So when they’re Skyping, we know who they’re talking to. We’re that involved. Some might call us helicopter parents, but I don’t care. My kids are safe and that’s the most important thing.

Photo courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

We allow our boys to have their friends over quite a bit. It can be a lot of work, but we’re okay with that because we can keep an eye on them. We also get to know their friends, too. We listen to their conversations as they sit around the table and eat. It’s a great group of kids, and I feel blessed that my boys have such good friends.

It reminds me of my friends back in my elementary and junior high days. I had awesome friends, too. I don’t think we ever have friendships as close at any other point in our lives as we did back in those days. I don’t know how anyone else feels, but my friends and I were so tight back then.

We still meet occasionally, but we’re all so busy with our own families and commitments that it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time. It’s interesting to see how far all of us have journeyed on our path.

We didn’t have Skype back then, but we did have the telephone. Remember those old landlines? Wow. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? Thanks for reading my post. How do you feel about your kids using the Internet? Do you feel the Internet has helped or hindered them as they grow into adulthood? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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http://allthefreestock.com/

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