Generation Tech, the manipulation of reality and a love affair with Instagram. From filters and air brushing, to color enhancing and reshaping. Who are we really and what are we trying to say? The average American checks their social media platforms 17 times a day and spends 102 minutes in a world with pretend friends…scary! Why are we so obsessed? Is it the challenge of growing our followers? Is it personal validation that we’re“cool” or is it, in fact, an artistic escape?
Let me begin this evaluation by saying that I’m a tech geek and obsessed with social media. I am a person that includes social posts in many of my business deals and I use it to exploit most business projects. #JustKeepinItReal. I have almost 4 million followers across my platforms which has broken the wall between my audience and me, allowing me to commute directly in my own voice, anytime, with whomever will listen. I am a person who scrolls the platforms in carpool, waiting rooms and in my glam chair. I love social media! I’m obsessed with fashion bloggers and I’m inspired daily by style posts. I also enjoy quote humor. I follow many different designers, inspirational fitness bloggers, a few celebs, and even fewer friends. I like to connect with my real friends in other ways than through our social platforms. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and SnapChat. I dabble with new apps and use many photo editing tools, They’re there for a reason so I make my images a beautiful as possible, why wouldn’t I? I have teenagers so that means access to the best tutors. I try to keep my children as deeply connected as possible. Not an easy goal, even harder in Hollywood!
Truth be told, life is but a picture for this generation and we are running our lives on tablets – which is super convenient btw. Communication is short, direct, and abbreviated. What do emojis, bitmoji and 3 syllable worlds really know about our feelings? What happens when the phone never rings anymore, discussions are too time consuming to have and the mail man has nothing to deliver but coupons and ads (which are leaving us too)? As a ModernMom and millennial woman raising 4 kids, I get it. I’m a bit of a tech geek, yet it scares me and I fight the self absorbed addiction daily. We do not know how this new way of seeing the world and the navigation of ones social status will effect our children. So I am forever trying to balance it while embracing the reality of this new time.
Who would’ve ever thought it was normal to take selfies, to change the color of the ocean, and to take pics of your food instead of eating it? I had to laugh out load when I saw that my taco made out of leftovers, hot sauce and a beer would get more likes than me in full glam on the red carpet. I wondered if food stylists will soon become more sought after than Hollywood glam squads? Why are pets getting more action than peeps? Why are we using hash tags for everything and making up our own grammatically incorrect statements? Because we can, cuz its fun and thats social talk.
It’s a crazy time! Its fun, totally unrealistic, and completely fascinating to me. From a business standpoint its the most effective and valuable form of advertising. Posts offer authenticity, direct communication to the consumer/fan/friend, and a real voice from someone you’re interested in. What a concept!
Here are the things I love about “generation tech.” They are directors, photographers, editors and curators. They are visionaries, creative minds, and connected with one another globally which allows for unique networking. My daughter is a “youtuber” and a brilliant visionary. She has utilized all tech to become not only a talent but a producer, director, editor, and publisher. That’s amazing. She speaks a language that most of us do not understand. Her mad computer skills and research capacity has allowed her to navigate through the editing tools to output a finished product from her creative concepts. Amazing. This generation’s ideas quickly become reality because they know how to produce their own visions. This era is allowing creative minds a new outlet to share their artistry. I like that. The positive side to this is that our children can build an audience, and if managed properly, it can monetize into a young business platform. Most are connected just for fun, but many are making a business out of it.
On the flip side, social media can become overwhelming and as a parent it needs managing.
Here’s what I do to manage social media in my family:
We take tech breaks. I’m concerned about too much tech. I don’t let my children lose themselves in their phones when I’m driving them. I never want my carpooling duties to feel like chauffeur service. I know I can’t make my kids converse but I can make them take their heads out of cyber space. I do NOT allow phones on any dining table, at restaurants or home – big pet peeve of mine! That’s our time to connect and family meals are invaluable to me. I try to monitor late next texting, face timing, and computer entertainment because research shows that light depletes serotonin – not good for the zzz’s) My daughter’s friends don’t come over as much because they can visit virtually with each other via the computer. Weird, but that’s life now. I also try to understand the apps and accounts that my kids are using like SnapChat so I can check theirs randomly. Occasional monitoring is important and so is experienced dialogue, meaning I know how it all works – knowledge is golden. They think it’s cool when I understand their world and I think its valuable to do so.
I don’t let my kids make requests, ask for favors or express their needs with short text abbreviations. Like…. “can L STN, LUSM TYL GG” which means “can Lilly spend the night? Love you so much – Talk To You Later – Gotta Go.” It’s cute but I need a “Hi Mom” at least, and hopefully a phone call to arrange plans.
I’m still the person that needs to pick up the phone and feel the sentiment though tonality. When all my children are home, I shut my phone off at night, and regularly use the moonlight feature for “do not disturb” so I don’t get email or text alerts on my iPhone – too annoying and I feel that I am allowed some personal space and do not need to be accessible 24/7 (except to my family).
We have access to so much. Life is moving so fast that we often forget to hit the pause button. I push it all the time. I embrace this time of tech, I understand it but I control it. Who knows how it will translate in the next decade. The good news is that you can always disconnect to connect 😉