Kids These Days
When I'm not dedicating my waking hours to achieving lofty academic goals, I'm a nanny. I babysit and chauffeur a pair of middle school-aged sisters who are, to be quite honest, victims of technology's firm and relentless mental grasp. You can't blame them. While they're both smart, funny, kind, creative individuals, they've never lived without smartphones, social media, and fancy computers. This immediate access to advanced technology and ultra-connectedness no doubt shapes their view of these resources. I'm still very young, but my generation has vivid memories of 800 lb desktop computers, Motorola Razr phones, and the birth of Facebook. When my laptop is slow or my iPhone freezes, I'm understandably frustrated. But all it takes is a flashback to waiting 30 minutes for my The Land Before Time computer game to load (on a Dell desktop larger than my 5 year old body) for me to snap back to reality and appreciate how far technology has come.
These kids, though, have no similar memories. In 20 years I'm sure they'll think back to their childhood and laugh at our current primitive technology. ("Can you believe phones couldn't read our mind when we were kids?! We had to type our texts! And they weren't even implanted into our brains! Crazy. Anyway, gotta get back home and feed my pet polar bear. Stay warm! This nuclear winter is really something. Huí tóu jiàn!") My point is: social media and smartphones aren't a privilege or a luxury to most kids these days. Parents can take away cellphone rights, restrict usage, etc. but social media permeates their lives. I asked the girls I nanny what they think of social media, advertisements they see woven into their feeds, and other aspects of current technology. Their answers were surprising: they don't think social media is that big of a deal, and they can (supposedly) live without it. They aren't extremely influenced by ads and sponsored posts, unless it is for slime or a fidget spinner (what the hell is that, right?!) They also think iPhones are far superior to Samsung, but I doubt that has anything to do with their age.
They believe they're in control of their social media habits. From an outside perspective, it is the opposite. Social media has more control over them. Knowing their thoughts, I'm interested to see how many young whippersnappers agree with their view. If all youngins think social media doesn't have an iron grip on them like us old folk think it does, how does that affect the development of these technologies? Can the same strategies for digital marketing be applied to a group that is in denial of social media's importance? Only time will tell.