Kids on social media

By Tanya Gunderson

Tanya Gunderson is a West Kelowna resident and mother of two teens and a mini dachshund. She is a diehard optimist, although the kids know her better as lame. The dog is on the fence about it.

With the help of the dachshund, Gunderson fed five teens pizza and pop and when they were satiated, fed them some tough questions. 

Two weeks ago, the kids vented about their parents; last week, it was Donald Trump and school; this week, it's social media and technology. This is the final instalment. 

The five teens are Jenna, Sydney, Courtney, Kyle and Steven. 

Sydney: Social media is weird. It’s another world. Like there’s the world we live in, and then there’s social media. It’s crazy because people live their lives around it. And have jobs because of it.

Kyle: Did you know Club Penguin was created in Kelowna? I wish I’d thought of it. I’d be a millionaire.

Courtney: It’s good and bad. It’s so addictive. I think life before it all was better because you had to find something to do. You couldn’t just lay on your bed and stare at your phone for hours  But, now, you don’t wanna put it down because so much goes on when you’re not checking your feeds. It ruins us.

Jenna:  If I could wish one thing and have it come true, I’d want there to never be smart phones invented. We shoulda just stuck with the flip phone. But now, we all have them and it’s too hard to put them down. I actually think children today are losing their childhoods because their parents just give them an iPad or something to play with or to keep them quiet. 

I feel sorry for the little kids today because they’ll never know what it was like to not have a smart phone or iPad. We at least, were older kids when it all came in.

Kyle: I didn’t get an iPod till I was nine and before I got one, I’d either play on the (Nintendo) DS or go jump on the trampoline.

Steven: Yeah, but you guys, there’s also some good things about it too. Like you can find anything you need or want to know about on the Internet. Or someone will know about it if you post it (laughs). And it’s cool to be able to share thoughts and opinions. I don’t know, you take the risk by signing up. 

It’s not like you don’t know what’s gonna happen by going onto social media. You know that what you’re going to say will be commented on, so you have to be able to handle some comments and stuff even if it’s all just rudeness.

Courtney: But we can do other things too. There’s so much to do and the phone just holds us back. And people are so rude on social media. Like what … you think that just because you’re typing it out, you can be rude.

Sydney: Yeah, there’s that. There’s no point in being so rude. If you wouldn’t say it to someone, then why type it? We just need to learn to manage it better.

Steven: Yeah, we just need to be responsible about it. But probably because it’s still so new, it’ll be awhile before people get tired of it.

Everyone: (looking around, some nervous laughter and incomprehensible sounds)……

I ended the interview then because I could see they were starting to fade, probably from hunger. Plus the dog woke up and it was game over. He’s cuter than me and instantly attracted their remaining attention.

Upon reviewing the notes I’d made, I recalled a wise person telling me that teens have a lot to say and aren’t given enough credit. 

Our kids see and hear a lot. And they have very valid thoughts on matters that affect them directly. We just have to let them give their input, and beyond that, we need to listen to what they’re trying to tell us.

We tend to force them to believe and think like us. But sometimes, they may be more right than we are.



This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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