Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sharey-Go-Round

I'm as guilty of oversharing as the kids of today I purport to hate so much. I tweet, Foursquare, Instagram, Facebook.... I even GetGlue. If it's not basic narcissism, then I don't know what the psychology behind it is, for me or the current generation of check-inners. Or, checkers-in.

Here's a thought, though. I'm a lost cause, but the current generation; let's call them Gen Text - what if all the sharing and checking in is a *good* thing? As a parent, I rather like the idea that, when my kids are old enough to be out and about on their own and with friends, all I have to do is check my own smartphone or their Twitter feeds to be able to see where they are and who they are with. In real time with GPS, potentially. What if the things they share as kids; pictures, videos, songs, playlists.... what if, when Gen Text is my age (or younger), this desire to share translates into sharing other things for free? Wealth, knowledge, experience. The kids of today are extremely technically proficient, a field which is growing, not shrinking. A field where there is the potential to make a lot of money.

"Billy has checked in to Joe's Cafe" and he posts a picture of him feeding three homeless guys.

Gen Text is often criticised for being narcissistic and shallow, and that may always be the case, but if Billy wants a retweet for something like that, and if it means his parents know he's safe, I'll deal with a little mirror-gazing.

Something to think about.

7 comments:

BaronessHeather said...

I think it doesn't happen in a vacuum. There will be kids like the ones you envision, and there will be ones like in the articles that pop up from time to time about how we need to quit griping about them flashing their phones around in the movie theater as they should be free to "enhance their experience" by tweeting, texting, etc. regardless of how it diminishes the experience of those who came to actually watch the movie.

I'd guess though, that the entitlement issues go deeper than the mere ability to access the Internet by phone. Great power, great responsibility, and so forth...

Spike Nesmith said...

Great points. Unfortunately, I can see cellphone use in cinemas becoming the norm. People (and I include adults) just ignore the pleas now, and there are no staff patrolling to stop them.

Mind you, for the cost of three trips to the cinema these days, you could pretty much just build your own.

Nicki said...

I have one fear for my children with constant connectedness and sharing. If you are constantly observing life through a screen are you actually living it? Can you truly engage with the world around you, take advantage of opportunities, create lasting memories, if you are observing and not participating in the things physically going on around you.

Sharing what you do, is a good thing, as long as you are doing things and not just talking about doing things, or watching life through your phone's camera.

Spike Nesmith said...

Makes a lot of sense. If you're living life through your cellphone screen, you're making short, bland clips, not memories.

WVMom22 said...

I agree with your post. My kids, 11 & 9, are not yet old enough to tweet or Facebook. I did get them phones, however, for the GPS and so I can text them to come home from the neighbors, etc. Luckily, they only use their phones to watch videos of kids playing MineCraft. Or to play MineCraft.

@weecuppatea said...

I think the proliferation of social media is killing conversation IRL. No point asking a colleague what he got up to at the weekend when you've already commented on the pics he posted of it on Facebook, or what he thought of last night's Breaking Bad when you saw his realtime opinion of it on his Twitter feed.

I feel like some people disclose so much online they've very little left to talk about face-to-face. e.g., I once had the misfortune to share a homeward commute with a group of studenty-aged kids who only ever looked up from their phones to punctuate each other with memes: "oh, that awkward moment!" rather than "how embarrassing", "honey badger don't care" instead of "I'm not interested", even saying "LOL" while laughing. Sheesh

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