Teenagers are obsessed with social media these days. And it is certainly not their fault, neither a drawback. These kids were all born in the era of the Internet, especially in the later part of it, when this form of a medium peaked and any social transaction happened on the World Wide Web.
It is just normal that they are on a quest for a new form of ‘identity’.
Apropos, there is a consensus among internet users that some sort of regulative and Internet literacy is needed fast, since the way we perceive reality vs. social media and the effect it has on our beings is unregulated. At the same time, changes are taking place with sonic speed.
However, teenagers decided that there would be аn unspoken agreement on what might be acceptable when it comes to social media and what will not be tolerated.
Thеy decided to fictiously unionize themselves and regulate their activities following conventions of social norms and etiquette that are known only among them.
The 10 seconds feature of Snapchat, which is the reason why Snapchat skyrocketed and became a leading app, relativizes risqué content. However, we all very well know that if you printscreen it, that content is immortalized. Users are notified if you decide to printscreen a photo, so this balances things out since not many will conform to that step.
One of the rules that came to be completely randomly, is the bikini rule.
Deborah Heitner over at the New York Times wrote an extensive and informed article about it, after interviewing a couple of teens.
“You can post a bikini or bathing suit picture only if you are with your siblings or your family in the picture,” said one middle-school girl.
The point is that the family around you in the photo are a balancing act. It means that you didn’t try so hard at being sexy.
Also, crafting a libertine online persona is out of question. Teens who were posting photos of them being a tad bit more sexy were shunned both by their peers and their parents.
Another no-no is bragging with your money. Namely, posting photos of expensive resorts, hotels and such is considered bad taste, since it would create feelings of exclusions in the rest of the students who wouldn’t be able to ever afford those trips.
Talking about feelings of exclusions, teens experienced anxiety of not being able to attend a certain party a lot of their friends did, no matter the reasons. Seeing the party unfold in real time was devastating for their young, fragile hearts.
There is even an official term for these sorts of feelings and that is the FOMO abbreviation, or the Fear of Missing Out. It’s a popular hashtag.
A lot of parents are trying their best to understand and stay connected with their young ones and grasp their (artificial) reality.
Many of them fear that their kids might behave in a manner that subsequently might take a toll on their adult lives, but have no idea how to even initiate the conversation. Mostly because they are not as educated on the matter and contemporary internet argot, and second since the subject is quite touchy-feely for some kids.
Back in 2015, Snapchat initiated a new, strict set of rules that was supposed to regulate underage users’ behavior after a surge of dissatisfied parents finding out about the private lives their children lead far from their knowledge and sight.
A lot of kids used the app to send compromising content of sexual nature. Of course, children cannot be blamed about this behavior since they are at the age when their libidos are forming and thriving.
The problem is that in these times of social media, children are more readily ‘connected’. Billions of them in real time. And you can’t put a stop to that.
The only and the smart thing to do is for parents to stay educated on the matter, and initiate their children safely into their Internet use, just as they would for any other matter in the world.
Social media behavior really is a more contemporary version of personal manners. Just as you would teach your child table manners, you now have to teach them ‘posting’ tenor. Just as you would talk to them about sex, you should talk to them about texting.
I know it is a hard thing to do, and we are all very much confused from the way the Internet affects our everyday life, but we should all try to find the best way possible to lead our lives in accordance to the newly-formed situation.
I really commend the people that do!