Do not listen to us

Do not listen to us

In a world where everything is always available, we have come up with a saying for the fear of missing out – fomo. In a constant flow of information (at a speed I doubt for which our brain is prepared) it is not that surprising that we are fooled into believing that things of vital importance are passing us by. There is something fundamentally human in that we have always wanted to be part of the herd (for survival) and included into a group. It is probably somewhat easy building this anxiety in us as humans – everyone wants to be part of something.

I believe this information flow, social media, is one of the largest challenges parents/grown-ups are confronted with today. To handle something, you (to some extent) have no control over. It is not possible, and we are all new to it. We can only guess its consequences.

Acceptance is therefore a necessity unless you make an active choice and move to a place of total solitude. But fear seldom leads to anything constructive, so how do we steer correctly? How do we live with social media, something most of us are questioning whether it is the slightest bit healthy…?

It is so easy ending up in comforting platitudes, such as being a good parent means being on top of things, eliminate screen time, lead by example etc.. But how often don’t you end up stuck there – in some sort of stage that doesn’t hold as you hear “but everyone else can…”

In all honesty, us grown-ups have created an ambiguous world. On the one hand there has never before existed as much engagement against bullying, voices for mental health, and more, than there is today. On the other hand, we have created an environment where everything can happen to everyone around the clock. We have brought a litany of completely unfiltered stimulations and situations of which we have absolutely no control into our childrens’ bedrooms.

Of course, we have given our kids anxiety – enhanced the feeling of not being enough, not being included, not knowing what applies. We need to say it out loud. To have the ability to handle this information flow we must try and understand what it is that we do.

However, I believe strongly in the new generation’s perceptivity. In a conversation with a group of 15-yearolds it was obvious that they strongly questions what has become of social media and its impact on their brains. Insights I never had (in the 90s) at that same age; for whatever we were exposed to back then.

Maybe the advent of the internet also contributed to the perspicacity needed to be able to navigate it at all?


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