Tag Archives: kids and technology

“These kids these days” and “that Internet”

I’m by no means an old timer, but I keep finding myself thinking like one seeing the transition of my generation (early Gen Y) to the youth of today. Seeing “these kids” on the streets mades me really have no desire to have kids of my own (among other reasons). As you can figure out from my last statement, I don’t have children. I do, however, have lots of friends and family who do and I see what’s different about raising them now as opposed to my generation and beyond.

Kids are growing up with the Internet and technology so engrained in their lives, they don’t know any different way. They’re fully accustomed to being over-stimulated and their brains constantly on overdrive, that they’re just geared different than any other generation. Remember high school and how overwhelming it was? Well, now add a smart phone and social media–that’s the life of a current teen (and younger!). Remember the cliques in high school? Now imagine it more defined by who is Facebook friends with whom and how much you can see and tell about a classmate online before even having to talk to them. Parents who care, have to really keep on what their kids are doing, they don’t even have full control unless they’re over their shoulder every step of the way. I’ve heard mind-blowing stories from teacher-friends who have to deal with it daily.

The Internet affects every part of our lives, even things we don’t consider. Life is more complex than it ever was and it’s exponentially getting more so. The generations before the Internet boom had cliques, but they were simpler, things were more centralized. If, for example, music split a group, there was a group that listened to heavy metal, there was a group that listened to rap, and another that were into jazz. Everything has become so branched out, there are so many subcategories within subcategories that once again, it’s leading to isolation. We are–and especially kids are–faced with too many options.

I feel fortunate to be born in a time to see life before the Internet through the transition of what it is today. My generation is technically the last generation that wasn’t born and raised as being totally dependent on technology. It’s an overwhelming time we live in; we’re bombarded with information everywhere we go.

We don’t realize how powerful of a tool this is and since it’s such a casual part of our lives, its power is abused.

Video games and violence… notice a correlation?

video games and violenceViolence is becoming the status quo in our lifetime, we turn on The News and it’s all violence. Unfortunately, drama sells. Being that I’m in the last generation to see life before the internet boom, I remember how modest video games started out, and I’ve seen somewhat of the transition to what it is now (although I haven’t played a video game since I was about 12 years old).

A few months ago, I was with some family visiting my oldest brother. He had to run out and asked us to watch the kids a bit. My little nephew, who, in my opinion (and I’m not alone here), naturally has a mean streak, showed me his new video game, which was him with a machine gun in a corporate office gunning down executives, not only that, but each shot a graphic blood bath.

My jaw dropped when I saw this. My sister and I couldn’t believe it. We asked him “Do Mommy and Daddy know you play this game?” and he said yes. Now, I’m not one to tell people how to live their lives or tell them how to parent because I know from past experience who is going to listen to me and who is not. The bigger problem is that this is a microcosm, which is shining light on the macrocosm. These kids are playing these intensely violent video games with not even a reaction as to what’s going on in them. Violence becomes the norm, and especially now, when kids are born with media and endless entertainment intertwined in their lives, this is a major problem. Instead of running around outdoors and getting stuff out of their system, they’re getting wound up and excited while sitting still. Video games are not a release.