TECHNOLOGY SHAMING – THE CHASM BETWEEN THE MILLENIAL GENERATION AND THEIR PARENTS AND HOW TO HEAL THE DIVIDE.
October 13th, 2017 by Alison Dwight
Let me tell you a story about me.
I remember it vividly like it was yesterday.
It was a Tuesday afternoon and my son Tyler (I changed his name) was sitting in front of his computer listening to his music. 90 percent of the music was kid appropriate and then there was Explicit.
One of the things that I discovered was that while about 90 percent of the songs were appropriate, 10 percent of the songs not only had F Bombs in the lyrics, but F bombs in the titles. I freaked out on the spot. I was oblivious to the fact that not only was he aware of this kind of language…let alone he was listening to an entire playlist with this music.
The Mistake that I made is that I took one look at the song list and flipped out.
…I flipped out!
Do you see the problem with this?
What could have been done differently? What opportunities to Connect were here? What kind of Self Awareness work needs to be done here?
Let me explain.
At the time, this was my oldest of four kids, and he was blazing the trail into adulthood while the others were still in little kid LaLa land. Which means, this territory was an undiscovered landscape.
Here are the specific opportunities that could have been done differently.
As much as we might all like our kids to continue watching Barney and playing board games, eventually, and before you expect, they will be hurdling into the adult realm. Which means a broader world of experiences that we can influence and guide, but not necessarily control. Drugs, sex, profanity, experimentation of many kinds will happen. Be prepared for Your reaction.
I say be prepared for Your reaction because this is Far more impactful and influential than any other influence.
Your response should be slow, thoughtful, and loving. Your response should be on pause until you consider all the options. Your response should be on pause until you can measure your words and actions that they deliver the message not only without harm, but with the greatest respect and love!
Really, the songs all had value, and many I actually liked from my adult perspective. I needed to not judge and, in actuality, Shame my son for listening to a really expressive and pretty diverse play list!
I Wish I had said nothing at the time! I Wish I had sat and listened to whatever songs he wanted to share with me and enjoyed them with him. I Wish I had not said one negative word at the time. I wish I had sat with my Own Fear and processed it with self-awareness and chose to bond with him and make him feel safe, loved and respected.
There is Always time to deliver a message another time, when you are not dis-regulated and when it is delivered with respect and love.
Take these moments to bond and connect.
Technology shaming is a form of Dis Connection. It is also a form of judgment and criticism. Take Every moment you can to Build your child’s sense of self worth. Take every moment to empower them to make their Own decisions and let them feel loved, respected and empowered.
1. Don’t shame your kids for technology. Understand and participate in their technology.
2. Understand that there will be an evolution from child to adulthood that will absolutely come when you are least expecting it, in a way that you least expect. But, have the awareness when it is present that you will be prepared to not go into a reactive fear state, but instead pause and use the techniques I will lead you through to guide from a place of love and support.
Conclusion: By understanding and participating in your kids’ interactions with technology and listening, watching and playing with them; open up discussions with them using the Non reactive active listening technique.
Realize that your fear of your kids’ usage of technology is one of the key components of creating Dis Connection from your teen or tween. Instead, seek to understand, listen, learn, be interested and participate with them.
The Big Picture Issue here is that there is a generational divide between the understanding and use of technology .
More simplistically stated, Parents of Millennials (in general) not only do not understand technology and the Love and Need of technology by their kids. Indeed they are fearful about it!!
What is going on here?
Here is a 5 point break down on understanding and solving the technology divide.
1. The parents of Millennials grew up with little to no electronic technology; this includes cell phones, ipods, ipads, personal computers, word processing, video games, the internet, social media including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. While Millennials grew up Never Not Knowing their lives without these technologies! This is integral in their lives and an intrinsic part of their connectivity which they Need to Thrive if they are to live in these societies!
2. Parents of Millennials are fearful of their kids’ involvement with technology.
3. Millennials can’t really comprehend their parents’ misunderstanding and fear of technology
4. Parents of Millennials do not take the time to learn about the technology
5. Parents of the Millennials do not take the time to understand what technology truly means to their kids, to play their games, watch their videos, listen to their music, and learn about Social Media.
A very Basic Teen/Tween Tech Breakdown:
1. CELL PHONES.: Parents need to realize that this is their child’s connection device. The phone is their access to their peers, their new extended family.
2. VIDEO GAMES: Parents need to understand video games. What is the allure? What are they about? Play them. Listen and learn from your child. There is immeasurable opportunity for understanding and bonding here. A child dearly wants to be understood, accepted and affirmed.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA; A incredible self marketing machine layered with external affirmation and connectivity.
4. INTERNET; The Millennials encyclopedia to the Globe, no Universe.
5. MUSIC AND VIDEOS: The Millennials Albums, 45’s, 8tracks, cassettes and television.
Here is what you can do about it:
1. CELL PHONES: They have one and they are going to use it. Texting mostly, followed by scrolling Social Media and creating social media posts. The challenge is to set limits on sleeping time usage. And by the way, text your kids, don’t call them.
2. VIDEO GAMES: They Love them. They are a part of the culture. They are escapism. Watch them, learn them, understand them and finally set limits on time and content.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA: They don’t know life without them. Self Marketing, Connectivity and affirmation are the products, setting limits on content and time, but more importantly replacing this form of marketing, connectivity and affirmation with real time activities that will supply affirmation and connectivity.
4. INTERNET: Put security guards on content searches.
5. MUSIC AND VIDEOS: Listen and learn their music. Listen and watch their videos. Realize that content is much more explicit and that has to be okay. Try to offer counter views on everything….counter-cultural….offer views from the both sides and judge them for what they think or do…..the judgment from you is much more damaging than the content they are experiencing in my view.