Back to the Future

Is Social Media ruining childhood?


When we look at the past generations we can see that the generation before it always believes that the next “big thing” is ruining their childhood? Weren’t we taught that different isn’t always bad? Can’t this generation have different interests without believing that their childhood is ruined? We can’t use a time machine and travel to the future, so why do we judge the current lifestyle based on the past?

Kids today have been born into a fast-paced ever-changing world where being innovative and adaptable are must have skills. We are connected and accessible ALL of the time and instead of only knowing what is happening in your own neighbourhood, we can now view the lives of the famous and unfamous through Social Media apps like Snapchat, YouTube etc. One could argue that this generation is more connected with the happenings in the world than the generations of the past.

Now on the flip side of this is the argument that if the youth of today are using too much Social Media then what are they missing? I feel like this is where the comparison of what “used to be” comes into play….when I grew up we played outside more….we used to play board games as a family…..etc. The Agree side of the debate would say that Social Media is directly related to Cyberbullying on the rise.  Cyberbullying: Identification, Prevention &  Response has some good ideas on how parents can monitor their child’s Social Media better. I also questioned during the discussion about where students are developing their self-worth. Are they comparing themselves to unrealistic “role models” online who are affecting their self-esteem?

This article about the hot topics in Edtech reveals that Digital Citizenship is changing and instead of the focus being on warning students about risks online the idea is how to help students to use the “power of digital media to work toward creation, social justice and equity”: Shelly describes in her post Uncharted Territory about how her students are finding their voice on Social Media to seek advocacy with issues that are important to them. I loved hearing about how today’s youth are not only embracing Social Media but using it to evoke change.

What do you think, is Social Media ruining childhood or has childhood changed with the times?


One thought on “Back to the Future

  1. Wendy, your one question, so why do we judge the current lifestyle based on the past? Hit home for me. I often find my own parents and older teachers questioning the importance of technology and sharing things on social media. People are always resistant to change, therefore we must empower our young and future generations to keep up “with the times” and empower others to see the amazing possibilities when ti comes to using technology! I would also agree with your statement that this generation is more connected with the happenings in the world than the generations of the past. My students show up every day and they are more connected to their world around them, than I ever was at their age. If my teachers or parents didn’t talk about the news, I was never connected enough to know what was going on in the world around me. This has created a more engaging teaching environment for me because often times students show up to school taking about an event or moment in the world that they saw last night on social media. This creates more learning opportunities and a real world engaging conversation, almost daily!

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