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.