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the real pandemic

... that started years before COVID



pivot

[ piv-uht ]

to turn on or as on a pivot.

to modify (a policy, opinion, product, etc.) while retaining some continuity with its previous version


Yup, that has been 2020 for so many of us.... pivot and then pivot some more.


Although this year has been difficult I truely see the value in what 2020 has forced me to recognize. And that is to look around me and see what is actually going on so I can make slight or major pivots accordingly.


A big concern as I look around now is how social media is effecting our youth. I have three young boys and we're getting into those years where connecting with their friends is so important. Yet it seems the safest way to do so in on a device... and I hate it! They are on line for school, playing games, talking with friends. How the heck do we find a healthy balance because the internet is not going away anytime soon.


It's specifically social media that worries me the most.


It's the likes, attention and external motivators that seem to drive teen's self esteem these days. And when those aren't met, negative self talk, depression and lack of confidence seem to set in. The evil, self depricating comparison game wins.


How do we get teens to find their internal drive to become their very best? Right now I feel they are the ones who are most vulnerable in this life experiment called social media. And because of COVID they are sitting at home on social even more. As much as I feel badly for them with having to navigate these crazy times along with teenage hormones, I also feel like we're all just waiting for things to "get better" before we move on with our lives and do anything about it.


I DON'T WANT TO WAIT, I WANT TO PIVOT NOW.


How can we help motivate teens and give them the tools to want to get off Tik Tok, Snap and IG and start looking at this moment as an opportunity to start a world wide change in teen culture.


The stats are in... depression and suicide are at an all time high and fingers point to social media. It's like any addiction really, they have to want change. I understand they can't do it all on their own as they are still kids and need support. But it just takes one community to spread the positive effects of a balanced, healthy social media relationship for the rest of the world to see hope. (whatever that looks like)


Am I crazy to suggest this? Maybe, but I don't care. I have three little boys who I want to see grow up to be confident in themselves no matter how many followers or likes they have.


A couple years ago I heard one of my dancers say, "I don't post a picture on IG unless I know I'm going to get over 200 likes." I just about fell over.


Now let's get this conversation going so that the amount of likes you get on a picture doesn't define our worth as a human being.


Here's how I'd like to start...


First, I like to urge teens to figure out who they are right now, in the present time and who they want to become a year from now. If it's the same person I ask them to strive for more because we are all capable of becoming better people then who we are in this moment. If we're not growing, we're not living.


Here are some suggestions and questions to of themselves and of the people around them to help find a healthy balance....(this would be a great dinner table conversation)


* Time limit on social per day? If you're someone who gets sucked in a rabbit hole easliy this might be a good tactic.

* Filter who you are following . Do they make you feel good about yourself?

* Why are you posting? Is it to share knowledge or good times or to bring a shock factor to bring in the likes

* If you're just creeping other people to create drama and gossip -STOP

* What are your values? If the people you are follow don't line up with them stop following them. Follow people who provide value and feelings that push you towards the person you want to be in a year.


I don't know the answers but I want to find some balance for my kids and students. If you know the answers, have suggestions or want to weigh in on this converstion please do. I am begging you. This stuff scares the crap out of me more than COVID.


Let's make a big pivot together.


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