In only a few short years, social media has had an amazing impact on how people interact. In some cases, online communities have replaced more traditional social interaction and in other cases, it has enhanced or morphed traditional socializing into something entirely new and alien to many in older generations.
None are more affected by social media than the new millennial generation. This group has the distinction of having been born into the Information Age and changed their own name from Generation Y to “Millennials” because they don’t feel any connection to Gen X. They’re not following Gen X. They are fully intent on replacing them. Millennials are seen to have an ease and familiarity with technology that is not matched by any other generation.
This creates a unique challenge for the parents of the millennials because their children are existing in a world that is entirely new. The Millennials communicate by digital means more freely and they are still more than capable of close social interactions and friendships than their Gen X parents who, raised under the “Me first” age of Reagan, Junk Bond trading and dressing like Crocket and Tubbs from Miama Vice, often lack the seamless way their children are knitting together social groups.
What we used to call cliques, are now just “niches” and appear to have far less of an anxiety-enducing impact on youth than when I was in high school.
Many parents have misconceptions about social networks and social networking, believing them to be a fantasy world where too much time spent can mean emotional stunting in the “real world.” To the Millennial, there seems to be no difference between these worlds. The digital world is just a convenient mechanism for meeting up with others.
This also means that what Gen X and the Baby Boomers may view as negatives about social networking, are not even perceived as issues with the Millennials.
Parent’s misconceptions about social networks are based on their own perception that spans from a time when dialing a phone actually meant DIALING A PHONE, audio tapes were the cool replacement to records, TV commercials signaled the time when you got up to use the bathroom and the idea of a GPS was even too “out there” to be found in the pages of the most visionary scifi authors.
In other words, you just don’t get it.
Deal with it.
We’re at the dawn of a brand new world. It’s a world that has been flattened where geography does not need to impact influence or finances in the way it once did. Dealing with this is a process of maturation and the point of reference is unknown. Young Christians seem far more assured about guiding their lives from moral codes found in the Bible. Is this because the Bible is one of the few things that solidly spans the physical world and the digital world? Darned if I know.
I guess I’m too old. 🙂
[tags]misconceptions,networking,parents,social media, Social networking[/tags]