Such a loaded word. So much angst. So much drama.
As a parent, I believe that many like me, look back into their own teenage years and try to parent from that. Unfortunately, so much has changed. Or is that fortunately?
As a teen, I had to call people on our house phone. I wrote my friends letters, and mailed them with stamps. Yes, stamps. I even had contests writing letters with friends. One time I wrote a letter on toilet paper, one time I wrote a letter on a t-shirt, you get the point: I was creative.
I went to Maine every summer and left my school friends for my summer friends. I had no idea how they spent every waking minute in the summer. In the winter, I went to NH and skied.
How did I find out what was going on over the weekend? On Monday morning back at school, after the weekend happened. So I did not get the every minute play by play, but the general weekend overview.
I am a fan of social media (obviously, I have a blog for Pete's sake). I like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. I really appreciate the ease of texting. My computer and I are buddies. My phone and I are rarely apart.
The hindrance is teenagers have all this social media to contend with ALL. THE. TIME. As in 24/7. They know what everyone is doing all the time.
They know that Chrissy had fruit salad for breakfast. Tim had batting practice at 9:00AM, Tina had her eyebrows waxed by her next door neighbor at 10:15, Wendy "turnt it up", Alicia and Marsha had a sleep over, Caty and Veronica were getting together to go to Chillers, Mark is working until 5 and Spencer has a hot date with Mae at 7.
This actually drives other teens (who are not doing anything at the moment, but reading twitter) CRAZY!! It makes them feel like they have no friends. They are, therefore, unworthy. They may as well pout all day. Or, even better, they should make everyone that live with them desperate to get out of the house.
I feel bad. Not many are tweeting "I am alone. Let's do something". Not many are snapping instagram pictures of themselves with their eyes swollen from crying while they lay in their beds thinking about the great time EVERYONE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY IS HAVING. Not many are being honest with their pain.
There have been the parental suggestions of "read a book", "clean your room", "clean the bathroom", "run to the grocery store", "mow the lawn", "get off social media" to no avail. They want to be with their friends doing something exciting. Not even sitting on a beach is enough. They have to be doing something.
My heart goes out to them. I lived in eternal bliss NOT knowing what my friends were up to. There is not eternal bliss for a teenager of 2014. Well, unless they are actually doing something worthy enough to post on all social media sites.