On Subtweets and Snapchats
I know today’s teens get a tough rap, but I happen to think you are pretty spectacular. You guys have been thrown a lot of curve balls – the ultra-protection that comes from living more of your lives post 9/11 than pre-9/11; the constant influx of new technologies; the increased pressure to get better grades, take harder classes, pass more tests…Being a teen today takes far more work than it did back when I was that age.
But here’s what we had that some of this generation is missing: in-the-same-room communication. While texting and Snap chatting and Tweeting are fine – in the right context – none of that substitutes plain, old-fashioned talking.
In the wrong context, texting, Snap chatting, and Tweeting can actually keep us from having healthy relationships. Subtweeting ( indirectly tweeting something -usually negative – about someone without mentioning his/her name), for instance, can be terribly damaging. Instead of going directly to someone who has upset you, you subtweet their offense (“I hate when it people take credit for my ideas in Student Council!”). This is gossip and it’s cowardly. Just tell that person – in person – he/she upset you by taking credit for your ideas.
Texting too often replaces important, beneficial, face-to-face interaction, also…like getting to know new friends or potential boyfriends. You can only know so much about a person through words on a screen, or even pictures for that matter. You need to see them, hear them, watch them around others. Nothing can replace that.
I don’t think technology is bad – I happen to be pretty crazy about my iPhone! But I do think that technology is a supplement, not a replacement – like Sparksnotes to an actual novel. Don’t miss out on the joy of really getting to know people; don’t allow yourself the easy way out when it’s time to confront, either.
Enjoy being teens in the twenty-teens, but go old school with your relationships.