By: Sherry Levine, Regular Contributor
Anyone else sick of everyone talking about “kids these days” or “the younger generation” in a negative light? Constantly acting like we're so messed up. Making comments about how nervous they are for us and “society” and our “brains.” Now I'm 26, so I'm a bit older than the generation people are constantly talking about. I was going to be a freshman in college during Facebook's second year. But people my age are still coupled with these observations. With these judgments. With these criticisms. But mostly people are commenting on the younger generation. The kids in high school. The kids who grew up with Facebook and Instagram in middle school. Who got iPhones in 7th grade. People are worried about the social abilities of the future generations, about all of the abilities of the future generations due to these technological advances. But isn’t it true that people are always worried about the kids? And don’t they end up surprising us all?
There's really no way to tell exactly what the effects are going to be from all of this. But one thing is for sure: everyone's going to be ok. It's easy to think that there are going to be long lasting effects from all of these new innovations. Will a baby using an iPad be harmful? I don’t know! I've mentioned these concerns in one of my other posts, and I've commented on the compulsion and attachments we've created towards technology, but I still feel like everything is going to be ok. Kids will grow up to become wonderful parents, hard workers, innovators, and scholars. Not in spite of everything, but also possibly, because of everything. Life is all about our relationships. Without sharing, without joining each other, without learning from one another, what is there? We get a lot of self-worth through our activities, through our friendships and through our abilities to be there for each other. The ability to converse with others, to agree, to disagree, to SHARE.
This new way of sharing everything, constantly creating, writing, commenting, posting and having a voice, be it sometimes annoying and excessive, seems like it might actually be a great thing! Teens can share their opinions, be a part of something they care about and not feel alone. It seems easier than ever these days to create new companies, to collaborate with like-minded peers, to associate yourself with a cause, a group, or an organization. Let’s not forget, the internet created endless possibilities for the world when it was first created. Why do we blame the kids for their inherent ability and desire to take hold of all of these possibilities? Our generation has become extremely creative, outspoken, and curious. Creating websites like I AM THAT GIRL, creating a place where girls can go and not feel alone in the world. And there are so many more just like it!
The older generations judge and criticize, but it seems they don’t quite understand. Some do. But in a way, in many ways, they're just as responsible for this. We are a product of the environment we grew up in. This is a generalization obviously, but think about! The whole thing is a bit blurry. Where's the balance? Whose doing is all of this? Where are the benefits, where are the detriments? They are there. I guess it's up to us, “the kids” with “our social media” to prove everyone wrong.
I am Sherry Levine. A 26-year-old woman committed to supporting and inspiring women in any way I can. With my contributions to I AM THAT GIRL and my life-coaching program Generation Teen, designed to provide guidance to everyday teen girls, it is my mission to encourage and empower all women to create the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.
Featured image via innovationnationnc.org