Posted in Absorbent Mind, Millennials vs. Gen X

Thanks For Your Participation, Millennials. Here’s Your Trophy.

So, Gen-X, we may need to eat our words here. Get ready for it:

In the contest for “most addicted to social media”, we have come in …… wait for it …… dead FIRST. (I know we are getting old and all, but yes!, you did hear me right.) Since there is only one winner, it’s time to hand the youngins yet another gold plastic cup for their valiant efforts.

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Good try Millennials. Maybe next time.  🙂

According to this NYT article (hopefully no #alternativefacts here) Nielsen collected usage data on over 10,000 people and found people aged 35 – 49 actually spend more time with their faces in their phones than the average 18 – 34 yr old. Yes indeed, Older Ones, I am talking about those same “kids” that we always condemn and point fingers at.

Hmmmmm…..Gen X, I think we owe them a huge apology, don’t you? I mean, because of those living in glass houses throwing stones and all.

BUT since social media wasn’t super popular before 2009ish or so (don’t quote me on that, it’s just an estimation based on my research), I’d say that this has nothing to do with being a Millennial or a Gen-Xer. We are all addicted. This new drug doesn’t give a rip about our age.

So what do we do?!?

Like I mentioned in my last post, we all need to come together to affect a change. We currently see it happening for other reasons, but this Social Media addiction is also a major issue that needs addressing. We need to create a better world for those that come after us. They are the only ones who have not been affected yet.

Oh wait. Maybe I’m wrong about that too.

Here’s an interesting TEDx that I watched in my Montessori training a few weeks ago. The speaker, who is a pediatrician, researcher, and parent, discusses the results of his research on the overstimulation of the child’s developing brain due to this nebulous yet innocuous sounding new concept, Screentime. And this, too, is a major issue facing us nowadays.

So if you have children, are considering having children in the future, or if you work with or interact with children in any capacity, this is super important to watch. If you don’t, I still truly believe it is crucial that you understand what is happening here. And if for some strange reason you just scroll past it and tell yourself you don’t have time to watch it, you could probably just cut down on Facebook by 16 min. I mean we still have 6 other hours to mindlessly look at others’ highlight reels, right?!?

My summation here, Gen X-ers and Millennials, is that not only are we technologizing our lives, but we are, by default, technologizing our children’s lives as well. They see what we are doing, and then our addiction becomes their addiction. On some level we kinda suspected this and are definitely overwhelmed by our helplessness to it, but this researcher has, indeed, confirmed it for us.

We now know.

And while our own screen addiction is bad, the difference here is that childrens’ brains from 0-6 years are still forming, while ours are not. These children have something Maria Montessori called the “Absorbent Mind” (my blog title’s namesake), where the senses take in everything and all of it is hardwired into the subconscious. It’s crazy to think that these first years are that fragile and crucial, but they are. And, people, this becomes the basis of the entire personality for the rest of their lives.

As adults, we all know that unconscious behavior patterns are extremely difficult to change. They influence everything we do, even if we are not aware of them. And once we know they are there, it is a constant battle to shut them off. (Trust me, I know!)

So don’t we want better for our children????

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I know we are all trying to do the best we can in this crazy day and age, but let’s start a dialogue about what is and what is not working in our society. We’ll need to ask ourselves some really difficult questions. And, of course, not make excuses when we don’t get the answers we like.

So please consider the above TEDx and the little ones. If we all make a small change, it will add up to a major impact on society.

I am pledging to put my screen down for an additional 30 minutes each day and choose another activity.

Let’s do this TOGETHER! (No participation trophies necessary!!!)

Let me know what you think in the comments. Also, if you are interested in this dialogue, please follow my blog. (If you are on your phone, the button to subscribe is all the way at the bottom of the page. One day I will figure out how to move it to the top :)🙂 )

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