I’ve had the opportunity to start doing some presentations centered around the Social Media Revolution, how it is changing our world, and what we as educators, ministers, or youth workers need to do to capitalize on it (if not, manage it).
However, one thing we as adults need to understand and recognize is that our teens (and adolescents) are more entrenched in this revolution than we are.
Sure, the fastest growing population of Facebook users are “Female Speeders” (Women, 55+) – that gap is narrowing, but we as a generation of adults are still behind where are teenagers are in terms of embedding this technology into their everyday lives.
What this means is that we have yet to identify how this technology has affected today’s student. Yes, we know (to some degree) how it is changing our world, but we continue to teach and work with today’s teen as if they are the teenagers we had 20, 10, or even 5 years ago.
Fact is, the teenager we are dealing with is differently affected by media than any other student in the history of the world.
They are over-processed and under-developed. They have the access to answers, yet have less capacity to develop thoughts. They are more connected than ever before and have less capacity for intimacy. They are more programmed than ever, yet have less time for personal growth and development.
I’ve always said that the needs of the teenager have not changed. However, what has changed is the spectrum of which needs are being met vs. those needs which our youth show up having unfulfilled.
We can no longer assume that teenagers need the same things they needed from teachers, youth ministers, ministers, etc. that they’ve needed over the past several years.
And, we can no longer debate whether or not media, specifically Social Media, is “worth it” or not.
It’s now time to talk about how to adapt to this new age, embrace the potential and guard against the dangers.
Generation Multimedia – It is what it is.
And what are we going to do about it?
To Be Continued…