Is your child pre-teen or teenager and does he spend a lot of time connected and little time in other activities? Do you find it difficult to handle this issue? It is good that you know that your child belongs to what is known as Generation Like, this new generation is young people born from 2004 and who have adopted the like or retweet as a symbol of value, recognition and even self-esteem.
This generation, known among other names as “Generation Like” thinks a lot about the results of the content they publish to obtain the desired result, since otherwise if they do not reach the expected, many of them consider it an absolute failure.
Since 2000, the use of the Internet has increased by more than 1,000%, and the percentage continues to grow with the expansion of the smartphone market. It is a reality, that the penetration of these devices among young people already reaches 100%, thanks to the increase in mobile searches, the growth of online shopping or the greater use of social networks by people of all ages.
This is the generation that has not known a society without the existence of the Internet, grew up with social networks and is today, a generation prepared to face the technological changes that society is going through in this Fourth Industrial Revolution
For this reason, parents should be realistic and know that we cannot completely separate our children from technology because if it is well managed it can be a great help in their education, but it can also be an impediment to advance among other things in their studies, so as parents we must take the reins and put standards in their daily use.
What do these teenagers use most? Instagram application to publish their photos (see and be seen), WhatsApp to communicate with their closest friends or family, and YouTube or Snapchat channel to consume content. Many also use Twitter to follow their idols and Facebook as a platform for games and maintain distant friendships, that is, they use networks massively both to communicate and to produce content.
Teenagers use networks to present themselves. They show to others and the response they receive gives them their level of popularity and integration. This feeds them back to the beginning. Teenagers cannot, nor do they want to stop being.
Instagram is one of the favorite social networks of this generation. And it is sometimes such an obsession that some of these young people get to have by the interaction in this network that the company has considered hiding the number of likes in the publications.
Some studies tell us that every day there are more than 4 billion likes and this has caused the birth of this generation, that they see the digital world as much or more important than real life.
It is difficult to define a generation that is still as young as this. The older members are still teenagers, so, as different sociologists point out, it is difficult to establish common characteristics. In fact, a generation like that of the Millennials and the predecessor of the Z, is still being defined through studies.
Some characteristic features
– Young people spend a lot of time at home compared to previous generations. They meet less with friends and their social life takes place largely online.
– The amount of teenage pregnancies has never been so low and they are a generation that is usually very aware of the effects of drugs.
– In general, members of this generation usually have a great sense of responsibility and environmental awareness.
– The parents of this generation raise their children very consciously and want to do everything right. This is very positive if you do not fall for the overprotection error.
– A strong link with social networks. Especially with Instagram, which is the one that they use most and that has become, practically, their generational television.
– Immediacy in the deal. They need, demand and expect speed from brands or any process they are going to start. An excessive number of steps or a too-long process leads them to abandon any task they were going to start.
– Like as a reward. They use it as a reward or as a way to treat something positively.
How to live if your child is part of this new generation
As I said before, social networks are a powerful tool and a danger to be controlled. They are a window to the world to which they look and what has published escapes forever from the user control.
Parents should put the point of balance, sense, and responsibility in our children’s use of these tools.
The use of social networks in excess can be harmful, among other things, because they create addiction and move away from real life. They make children not perceive reality as it is, but as they believe it in their virtual world.
– It certainly seems impossible to curb the need of the pre-adolescent child to be connected to his friends through Social Networks. In pre-adolescence (between 10 and 13 years of age) the child’s brain begins to undergo a series of transformations that, in part have to do with the hormonal changes that wake up in his body.
The desire to be part of a group begins to be a biological necessity, as much as eating and sometimes even more than sleeping. Concern for their appearance, for liking the other sex, begins to emerge stronger and becomes a necessity and a fundamental part of their personal and social identity, which they want to be present in the digital world.
When it can affect the health of your children
Almost all students in the digital age recognize that their computer or mobile device steals hours of sleep and study. In any group of high school students, there are many more who sleep less than 6 hours a day than those who sleep more than 8 when it is advisable at these ages to sleep approximately 9.
Different studies have shown that these technologies are addictive and that those who abuse them experience more concentration problems, behavior/self-control problems, and school failure.
The statistics give us the alarm in relation to the rest of these children and adolescents since many of them wake up at dawn only to check their social networks, and if they do not find satisfaction and recognition many of them cause them lack of self-esteem, anxiety and even in extreme cases, depression.
For this reason, it is essential to establish standards and use supervisory tools that allow parents to understand how much time and what use the children make of technology, and explain that they should use it and not abuse, especially when going to bed.
It is true that some of these changes in the lives of children and adolescents are positive and offer new opportunities that we should not miss in the field of information, communication, human relationships, education, etc. Surely any of us could give multiple examples from our daily experience.
However, we cannot ignore that its misuse can produce the bad influences of certain human values, such as intimacy, empathy or truthfulness.
Also and the supposed anonymity has allowed the bullying between peers to rebound, the so-called cyberbullying. Children could be harassed, threatened, tormented or ashamed by their own classmates, preferring to continue to suffer rather than tell about their problem.
Therefore, the only way to minimize risks and maximize opportunities is to establish a series of rules of use.
The importance of values in the virtual world
The fact that you can hide behind a computer does not mean that you can behave as you please and it is important that they know that other people should not do it, but that thought is very important that your children know from an early age and more now that everything is registered and your future depends a lot on your profile on the network.
Inculcating values through the example now entails doing so also the virtual world, every advice you give must be oriented to its conduct on and off the Internet so that they can become respectable, honest and responsible citizens.
The way to teach these values is through your example, make your own virtual profile honestly, responsibly and correctly, and teach your children to do the same, and don’t forget to tell them what the consequences of not doing so could be.
Managing and monitoring your child’s activity is simply part of being parents today. The question is not to end your confidence or cross any boundaries. It is about protecting your children from the damage they are not yet aware that they may suffer, at least until they are old enough to distinguish the threat themselves.
All the information we give you in this article is for orientation since each couple and each family is different and unique.
Carolina González Ramos
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