Good Digital Parenting
Blog | Nov. 8, 2012

Technology’s Role for Teens and How Teens Can Teach Adults

Social Media Coach, Marketer, Digital Native

I am 15 years old and am working as a Social Media Consultant and Speaker. Let me explain my background of how social media and technology helped me in my endeavors. I have been using the computer since the age of 2. A few years later, I began typing and eventually working. I credit my grandfather, who has always been passionate about the latest and greatest tech tools, with helping me. 

One of my first projects was writing a newspaper that allowed me to combine my entrepreneurial spirit and interests in technology. It was so easy to get my words out and then see my end product in front of my very own eyes on a screen that reacted to any keystroke and action. It is fascinating as a kid to experience response, engagement, and reaction, which is why many kids enjoy playing. 

Because of my young age and daily use of gadgets, social networks, and the internet, I am able to provide a unique first-hand account of the best ways to use social networks. I speak to business professionals, college students, grade school students, and conference attendees about the best ways to market us online. I talk about how to personally brand ourselves, market a business, online privacy and security, as well as engaging with the millennial generation. Businesses especially need to humanize in this day and age of customer service. My advice personally helps businesses hear the business-side of tech from an entrepreneurial teen as well as hearing what teens want to see from brands. 

When I am working, I often explain that teens are growing up with technology very early. It plays an integral role in their lives for communication, networking, social, collaboration, and information. 

The power of technology can go far. Think of how each of our actions impact the world such as a viral video. One share bridges the pixels of separation and makes us all relate to one another. Each one of us has a voice to express ourselves and make a difference. It is almost like having a microphone (or megaphone) amplifying what you say. That said, it can also make an impact on one’s reputation and their personal information can be at risk, which is why privacy is so important. 

It’s now common for kids to teach adults how to use technology because we’re tech-savvy. It is a role reversal. Instead of parents or adults teaching the kids, the kids have to show their parents how to use technology, sort of like a mentoring program. 

Kids stay current and up-to-date on all the trends such as clothing (Air Jordans, Abercrombie, Hollister, Aeropostale, etc), technology (having the newest iPhone), toys, fads (Silly Bands), and styles for what’s in and what’s out. Also, kids are learning more and more each day with a fresh perspective (hey, they always say: You learn something new each day!). Whether it is in school or outside, kids are active learners as their minds develop and it is simple to grasp new subjects. 

Some older adults realize the importance of digital communication including grandparents. Statistics show that 22% of grandparents are members of a social network, some using it to view photos and stay in touch on Skype or video chat. However, both demographics need to strike up a happy medium and balance for technology use and IRL (in real life) experiences, communication, and live in reality not virtually. 

After all, children are the future, up and coming generation that changes quicker than any other generation. Now the rest of the world needs to be prepared for their rapid growth in population and trends. 

How do gadgets and gizmos play a role in your life and teaching digital literacy? 

Cover image courtesy of Flickr