Before I begin I’ve got to say that my teenagers and I do have real life conversations. Honestly they’re not square eyed inarticulate zombies . We go out for dinner together and we chat. We do the “how’s your day been?” and we’re all more than capable of conversation. We talk a lot in this house . A.Lot.
However what I was pondering the other day was how each of them communicate with me via social media and technology in totally different ways . It’s not a replacement for conversation,I think it’s an enhancement. Probably a time saver too , if someone sends me a link to a play I might like that’s much quicker than giving me the details verbally I guess. I don’t have to ask dates ,times , venue as it’s all there in front of me!
The 17 yr old eldest is a fan of a meme . When the Messenger symbol appears on my phone yet he’s there in the same room as me I know memes are coming! Particularly fond of ones with Gavin and Stacey quotes of late . He knows what makes me giggle , he’s pretty cool like that.
He’s also good for info. Links to articles about shared interests we have . Doctor Who or snooker (don’t judge me!) or the rugby team we support are shared back and forth between us !
He’s quite clued into his politics and current affairs too like me so any articles , memes or posts in relation to that subject go down well. He’s a regular in the Messenger inbox and I quite like that. Needy mum with the grown up son likes that he thinks of me . On that note he’s quite good with texts through the day regaling me with work anecdotes ,he even *shock horror* calls me occasionally on his lunch to tell me a particularly funny or bizarre story!!
The 16 yr old youngest son well that’s a whole different kettle of fish.
Talk about radio silence.
He does not like my FB status’ even really funny ones.
He does not send chirpy texts or message at all actually. He went to grandparents for a week not long back , his siblings texted and messaged intermittently. Not a peep was heard from him.
Chances of him answering his phone when you call him are minimal,he barely even knows where it is most of the time and you get the vibe from him that he could happily do without all the tech (other than the x box …obvs!)
Eldest girl at 15 well she’ll tag you in a meme or two , she’ll like the odd photo you stick on Facebook.
Her social media communication of choice though is links to food. Ice cream parlour menus , restaurant links , takeaway pics of gorgeous dinners. I think she follows every restaurant in the vicinity purely to drool over the food pics . She is indeed her mother’s daughter
The youngest at almost 10 aside from her YouTube watching nonsense has no need to wrap herself up in tech. She’s no need for a phone and she’ll certainly have no need for social media for a long while yet. With her we’ll stick to our quirky chats about what colours sound like and what our fave baby animals are.
I know social media gets a bad press , and deservedly so sometimes. I don’t think it’s all bad though. I don’t think it’s killing conversation or making us all antisocial. I was pretty antisocial before Facebook and Twitter came along but written communication has always been a favourite of mine. I still like writing letters. So along those lines of thinking I’ve probably become a little more sociable !
What do you think ??Do you think that social media can be an enhancement of communication and conversation between parents and teens or do you think we are all too screen focussed . Be really interested to hear your views.