I remember growing up, I wished that I should reach college as it was a fun place to be. Then when I was in college I wanted to start earning quickly as I could buy the things I wanted. At every stage in life, I wanted to reach the next quickly as it looked greener. Today in my late thirties, I would give anything to get back to those carefree days of childhood. I see the same around with kids today, the pace is way faster though all thanks to the Social Media Impact around us.
Meet Thomas Suarez, he is working on a patent-pending 3D printer which, he says, will work 10 times faster than the MakerBot model he uses at home. At 15, he is a seasoned businessman. He doesn’t want to go out and play because he much rather grow his business. You see a young CEO, I see a young man burning out soon, anxiety and a lot of stress and pressure.
At the Incubator School in Los Angeles, becoming a billionaire is the goal for many kids. They discuss profit-sharing strategies for the school lemonade stand. Starting a business is not only encouraged, it will soon become a mandatory part of the curriculum. You see young entreprenuers, I see all work and no play in life. Making money can’t be the most important goal or life skill being taught to kids.
A controversial video fimled in a school in the city of Camageuy, Cuba showing young children in school uniforms dancing provocatively and twerking has been posted online – sparking outrage.Father of one of the boys in the video proudly uploaded the footage of his son ‘showing off his moves.
Need I state more examples on excessive use of social media is disastrous for our kids? Let’s see what our parenting coach, Dr. Shruti Jaiswal has to stay about it;
FACEBOOK SNAPCHAT INSTAGRAM TWITTER
These words which are such an important part of our daily lives were seemingly insignificant just about 5 years ago. Today everyone has a profile on one or more of these sites. Social media has completely redefined the way we socialize. The older generation is getting active on these sites to catch up with the times and the younger generation is making sure that their kids are not left behind in this race.
Parents are setting up Instagram accounts for their toddlers – some of these have a huge following. Children as little as 4 have their Facebook profiles made (thanks to their parents).
What is the legacy we are building for our children when we push them to BE SOCIAL on social media?
Ideally, social media sites help one to be connected with people in their lives (and also people in our distant cousin’s life!). Distance doesn’t come in the way of people being in touch with their family, friends etc. However, here lies the biggest pitfall of the social media sites. This ‘showcasing’ of our lives has given rise to a world of pretentions.
Picnics, theme parties, destination weddings, exotic vacations are all planned and executed so that everything can be clicked, captured and uploaded for the world to see and discern how beautifully ‘perfect’ and ‘fun’ our lives are.
Our children are living with the same ‘Social Media Syndrome’. Approximate time that an average Indian teenager spends on these sites is about 5 hours daily. The birthday parties, theater outings to the outfits they wear – so many choices are governed by the fact that they have to be broadcasted on social media sites. The mindless activity where so many innumerable hours are spent on various such sites – scrolling through what is happening in the lives of others and analyzing how well their lives are perceived within their peer world – brings unnecessary stress into the lives of our children.
The child starts deriving his sense of self-worth, self-esteem from the popularity of his ‘posts’ on FB, Instagram accounts. Our children are thus inheriting a culture of narcissism and voyeurism.
As parents, they see us clicking pictures not to make memories but to translate it posts which could be broadcasted to our social accounts. They imbibe the ‘showcasing’ as a way of life. I know 3-year-olds who make perfect selfie pouts and know all about the apps that can ‘airbrush ‘your pictures. Children would struggle with geometry but would be perfect in clicking a picture from certain ‘angles’ – which would give them a slim, hip look in the photo. All this is propagating a certain body image consciousness and brings its own level of peer pressure.
I am not saying to refrain from using social media. But children learn what they see. Let our activities on social media be a very little part of our daily routine. Let our lives, our self-esteem be not governed by these sites.
Let us actively participate in the lives of our children with live games in the park, a walk down the hill exploring nature together, cooking with each other. Let’s fill the memory banks of our children with enriching experiences and not frugal ‘posts’.
This post is contributed by Dr. Shruti Jaiswal
In her 12 years of work experience both as a clinician and an educational consultant, she has interacted with more than 3000 children and people from various walks of life to bring about personal transformation along with their health and educational goals. Her special interests lie in Sexuality Education and Gender Sensitivity which was also the prime focus of study for her thesis in Masters of Education Program from Azim Premji University, Bangalore. She has been associated with the core team of Parwarish Institute of Parenting for the past 4 years. She has been working on research, designing & conducting workshops for parents & teachers. She brings her unique medical insights while leading the workshops. She has led the Parwarish programs across Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai – wherein she has been associated with both the public and the private sector.
The news in the article snippet was taken from http://www.dailymail.co.uk