As much as the recent Amber Cole controversy broke my heart, I can honestly say I wasn’t too shocked at the idea of teenagers being involved in sexual activity at young ages at of all places school, a place where most parents think their children will be supervised and occupied with gaining an education and not sexual experience. The truth is, I was in high school only 10 short years ago and students even then were engaging in sexual activity at school. The only difference is back then the only way you could prove it was through someone’s second-hand gossip about what was witnessed. No one was around to play back footage of the actual incident.
Social media plays a more of an important role in the lives of today’s teens than it did even a decade ago. Through personal profiles, uploaded videos and shared images, teens are not only communicating their thoughts but defining their identities. In a recent interview with The Source’s Kim Osorio, rapper Drake shared some interesting concerns he had about social media. The artist who just released his sophomore effort, Take Care, currently has almost four million Twitter followers, but only tweets an average of once per day. He had this to say about how he “hates social media”:
“I’m really scared for my generation, you know. The thing that scares me the most is Tumblr. I hate what Tumblr has become. Because it like, it reminds me of those cliquey girls in high school that used to make fun of everyone else and define what was cool, but in five years, when you all graduate, that Shyte doesn’t matter. No one gives a f**k about that Shyte. Instead of kids going out and making their own moments, they’re just taking these images and living vicariously through other people’s moments. It just kills me. Then you’ll meet them and they’re just the biggest turkey in the world. They don’t actually embody any of those things. They just emulate. It’s scary man, simulation life that we’re living. It scares me.”
So what’s a parent to do when a click of a button allows your child to share some of their most private moments and innermost thoughts with the world? All the parental controls in the world can’t replace good parenting that will prepare your teen with the values and skills necessary to navigate through the land of social media while still keeping their dignity intact.