Many people like to tout the idea that social media and virtual online communities are detrimental to the face-to-face socialization skills of our children. In this slideshow, technical author Curt Robbins debunks this myth, citing how services like Facebook, Kik, Vine, and Instagram can actually enhance the social skills of today's youth. Before you assume that social media is harming your children, consider this perspective.
1. From the blog Middle Class Tech Social Medias anti-Socialization Myth
2. During a kitchen table conversation regarding the effect of internet- connected mobile devices and social media on the six grandchildren in her house 3. my mother-in- law asserted that these elements were detrimental to the face-to-face socialization opportunities and practices of the ten to fourteen- year-olds scurrying around her 4. She was concerned about the amount of time they were spending using their iPod Touches and iPads to engage in social media using services like Snapchat, Instagram, Kik, and Vine 5. I've heard this perspective shared by othersoften older folks or those who engage with technology less than the average person 6. Many simply don't share the wanderlust of modern millennials toward their back pocket devices and wi-fi-connected touchscreens 7. It's an attitude and fear that is increasingly pervasive among paranoid helicopter parents and those who spent the bulk of their lives without this technology 8. Unfortunately, ignorance breeds fear 9. Myriad online virtual communities are not corrupting the social skills and manners of our children; I contend that they are enhancing these skills 10. Before you call BS, let me explain 11. Via school, marching band, volunteer activities, neighborhood friends, shopping, the library, etc, the average middle-class child gets plenty of face-to-face socialization 12. Instead of replacing in-person interactions, mobile device-based social media are 13. actually supplementing them 14. We're augmenting what we've always done as humans 15. We're still sitting around camp fires telling scary stories 16. But we're now also telling those stories on Tumblr, Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter 17. My 13-year-old daughter can slam out text on her iPod Touch faster than any human I've witnessed 18. But this mastery doesn't come cheap 19. This girl has spent much time locked into her mobile device 20. Sucking down virtual companionship and cultural enrichment 21. Considering the huge investment of time and effort she's made in these app-based networking services 22. Are my daughters social skills lacking? 23. Hardly she's probably the most social member of my family 24. She has twice the social skills of some Amish kid cruelly deprived of technology and modern social media 25. All without negatively affecting her grades or volunteer activities 26. Not only does social media not put a ding in the real-world social skills of these kids 27. Social media often directly enhances the social skills of children 28. The virtual social media world feeds our "face-to- face" reality 29. And vice versa 30. Ignoring such a detailed dynamic gets a Luddite button pinned to your chest 31. Some kids are really social 32. It will show in both their physical and virtual social worlds 33. Which will surely interact 34. Other kids are shy or introverted 35. A virtual or social media-based existence allows those who may lack self- confidence to engage with likeminded others 36. Interactions possibly too intimidating if performed face-to-face 37. Working with social media "training wheels" may actually help young people engage in real life 38. Proving to them that they can successfully conduct and gain enrichment from interactions with others 39. Having options is good 40. Today, our kids have more varied and dynamic social opportunities than at any time in the history of humans 41. Our children's socialization skills are surely critical as they mature 42. Is negatively criticizing young people for harnessing social media to interact and share ideas 43. Across borders, cultures, and stigmas 44. Really the approach we want to take? 45. The author kindly requests that you check out Home Theater for the Internet Age 46. Other Books by Curt Robbins Understanding Personal Data Security Understanding Digital Music Understanding Cutting the Cord Understanding Home Theater 47. About Curt Robbins Blog: Middle Class Tech Flipboard magazine: Middle Class Tech Twitter: @CurtRobbins