I came across a post the other day from a page I follow, Suburban Shit Show: Tales From The Tree-Lined Trenches. Her kids asked her if we were going to war. They are scared (as am I) and she’s navigating the tough task of explaining “adult” things with them. “As they brace for a reality I never knew in my childhood. I suppose we feared the Soviets. The bomb. I don’t remember much. I hope they won’t either.” -@Surburbanshitshow With her permission, I thought I would tackle an important topic: News on social media and the effect it’s having on our children.
This post isn’t about politics, not about Korea, Not about any of that. What stuck out to me is when she said she doesn’t remember much… I thought about it. I don’t either… I was growing up during the Gulf War in the early 90’s and truth be told I didn’t know anything about it… I didn’t know anything about politics. The only BIG news I remember was when Princess Diana died, and we didn’t hear that until the next day.
I didn’t have INSTANT access to Fox news, or CNN, or Huffington Post. Know what I had access to? The evening news. That was it! And that was IF my parents were watching it, and IF I was paying attention.
Do you know the percentage of Children on Social Media? It’s high… I’m finding anywhere from 65-80%. That’s A LOT!
Think about your news feed for a moment. it’s filled with pictures of your friends, their weddings, babies, new jobs. But if yours is anything like mine there is ALWAYS news popping up… Politics, protests, violence, North Korea, car crashes, murder trials, etc etc. I’ll be honest here and say MOST (closer to all) of my news comes from Social media. Definitely all of my local news (we stream TV now so we don’t get local channels).
What does this mean for me? It’s good for an adult! I can keep up with what’s going on in the world. I have access to things I may or may not have access to through the TV.
Flip that around though… What effect is this having on our youth? The ones who don’t understand war and politics (I still don’t fully understand). It’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE for you to shield them from everything, although more now I see people limiting social time. But, look at the last hour on your news feed… how much did you see? Our youth is now in a time and place where they receive news INSTANTLY! They are more informed than we ever were. They have access to everything they could ever want… or not want to hear about.
The world has changed now. Kids are exposed to everything. It’s not always a bad thing… You can connect with grandma or message your friend about your math homework. But in the same breath, we open ourselves up to the hard questions.
Back to the post… I’m no parent… but in my eyes, she’s doing it right. Being honest and trying to explain is hard. She simplified it and focused on equality and kindness. She’s hoping her kids don’t inherit a world filled with hate.
Now in 2017, we are living in a social world. Social media plays an important part in most of our lives. I don’t think that’s going to change. Just remember when you post… it could be coming across a teenagers page, or a child might see it. Maybe we can all make the world a little kinder on Social media!