I had the fantastic experience to join in a conversation on Huff Post Live with Nancy Redd and a few other fabulous people to talk about a new Pew Research study on the effect that social media may have on teen relationships.
It is a fascinating conversation, because there is no question – social media HAS CHANGED how we interact. On one level, it allows us to have broader friendship circles, exposure to wider groups of people and information, and the ability to stay more connected with our partners. On another level, it can quickly become an obsessive downward spiral of checking in, checking on, and checking out (IRL).
Now, generational differences come into play, and in this discussion we explored the way that teens versus adults might use their devices to connect in love. While we grown ups might be frustrated by the need to engage with our partner’s social media presence, for teens it’s part of how they express affection, interest and love. While we adults might think the internet is a big scary place for kiddos, they make it clear that it is much safer than IRL. In fact it’s easy to block a creep on social media. Not so much at a coffee shop.
Now, both the young ladies in this particular interview, Anna, and Ruby Karp @RubyKarp, are incredibly well spoken and clearly savvy in the art of conversation, but social media and texting does have risks. It requires that parents stay incredibly engaged in the parenting of their children. Do not get lazy and text your way through their teens! Holding a human conversation is still essential in person and being able to carry a conversation on a date is essential to deepening your connections.
The net love advice on this one?
Grown ups – Learn to be more like teens and see social media as a safe place to explore, learn, test the waters and worry less about offending someone if you decide to unfriend them. Don’t let people into your online life you don’t want in your real life.
Teens – Practice having conversations with potential suitors on the phone and in person a little more. Understand that while it can be intimidating to pick up the phone and make a call, it is important to do so. Learn to flirt in person. It will serve you well down the road when you and your future mate need to talk!
Watch our fabulous segment if you are so inclined!
CEO & Founder
Summers Love Company