There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one – Sue Atkins
Our children are growing up in a world where their parents are socially influenced by sensational content.
What we consume as content today in the era of social networks are signs of how polarized content will become.
Tech has radically changed the way we create, how we interact with people and organize ourselves.
As long as we can connect to the internet, we have answers at our fingertips, real time access to the latest events and give and expect to receive instant responses to our friends and loved ones.
By spreading our time and attention thin across active apps we are great at multi-tasking yet bad at doing any single task well.
If you’re like me and need to create anything or work on a task that requires all of our attention you will most definitely have to turn off WiFi and mobile data.
But that’s the easy change to make.
The single most impactful change that phones have on our lives that’s beyond our control is how we interact with one another.
We discuss personal issues with strangers of the same niche (think Facebook groups), anyone can publish their opinions (personal blogs) and convince folks of their version of the truth (fake news), anyone can become an expert in a field and lead hundreds of thousands if not tens of thousands of followers on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
Celebrities who are active on Instagram practically make paparazzi jobless.
Have you read any news recently of any celebrity punching the daylights out of an out of place paparazzi?
What’s scary is how sensationalism is the number one factor of online success.
As long as a social leader posts or re-tweets anything sensational that content will go viral.
Note that one hot content that has reached millions doesn’t make another post equally successful although the vast number of followers re-tweeting any content help greatly.
In order to ascend ranks in social networks, you will have to consistently produce the right content and consistently have the foresight to rehash any sensational content.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding for example is a prime example of how an event can have ripe opportunities for sensationalizing content.
The social network leaders wasted no time.
From Meghan and Harry’s 3 second mutually loving glance (duh, they must be in love to actually show up at the wedding) to Victoria Beckham’s scowl (translated by the networks that she got attitude) vloggers and media correspondents went wild, dishing out sensational content suitable for populist appetites for days and weeks after the most watched wedding in all time.
I’m worried about the social networks my son will grow up in.
We can nurture him as much and as attentively as we can but to a large degree he will need to decipher for himself the real from the fakes, reflect on other perspectives based on the one most commonly posted and weed out the sensationalized content from the important takeaways.
Added to that challenge are the overload of information and news.
As information swirl and change constantly around him he will have to rely on some really good apps to filter out the relevant and insightful, and in addition to that, give equal weight to stuff that are less talked about.
Not focus only on success stories; not feel that he’s a failure because he’s not an overnight internet phenomenon.
Hopefully he won’t need a lifelong prescription for depression as success seems tougher to attain and the road to success seems more competitive than ever before
Take it easy on your child.
The mundane and less successful still matter.
These are what I tell myself every single day