It seems that there is a definite lack of social skills in modern teenagers. There was a time, not too long ago, that you might remember. It was a time of friendship and laughter. This was also a time when you could look outside your living room window to see children running and playing in your yard and your neighbor’s yard. Water fights, stick ball and all around merriment were a part of the teenagers’ lives. Then technology brought us the internet.
The lack of social skills in modern teenagers is probably brought about by the ease at which teenagers can get in touch with each other. This can be done either by chatting online with an instant messenger, online websites like Myspace and Facebook, or just texting each other through their cell phones. The social skills of teenagers have dropped considerably because of the ease at which they can contact each other. Yes, it sounds a bit odd to say it that way, but that seems to be what is happening.
There are those out there who seem to debate who exactly is to blame for the lack of social skills in the modern teenager. Both sides have good arguments, but neither side is hitting the issue to solve the problem. One side is blaming the parents for allowing their children to play video games all day long. These same “experts” say that teenagers who confine themselves to their own personal worlds with videos and mp3’s on their cell phones are just asking to be socially inept. The other side is blaming the video game, movie, and music industry for the lack of social skills in modern teenagers.
What both sides do agree on is that technology itself is to blame for making life too easy and comfortable. There was a time if you wanted to see what your friends were doing over the weekend, you had to ride your bike a couple blocks, and have the social skills to ask their parents if they were home. Now, it’s simply tapping a few keys on a cell phone and wait for the reply.
The lack of social skills in modern teenagers may not be much of a problem though. With technology becoming more a part of everyone’s daily lives, it might just be the way the future turns out to be for all of us. So don’t blame parents for not being restrictive enough. Blaming entertainment has never worked very well either. Instead, look at technology and see how it is, in effect, making teenagers a little less skillful socially than they used to be in your time. This may just be something we will need to accept, rather than completely change.
If you, as a parent, are not happy with this situation, take steps to try to correct it. Limit your teenager’s time spent playing video games, or chatting online. Take charge of the amount of available minutes he has on his cell phone, or better yet, don’t get him a cell phone at all. This forces your teenager to get back out in the world for his entertainment. We all know that most teenagers are very socially interactive, so not having fun at all would not be acceptable to him. He would then seek out other means of connecting to his friends.
The lack of social skills in modern teenagers didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t be resolved quickly. However, you can make the effort to help YOUR teenager by limiting the technology in his life. It won’t be easy, and he will fight you every step of the way. But you know that the end result could very well be worth it.↑ Back to Top