Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tweeting Tweens!

Long time ago, when there were no ipods, cell phones or even calculators allowed in school, the definition of teenage was "when a boy starts noticing that a girl is noticing him."  Yes, its okay to laugh because it is a lame definition for the times we live in. Teenage has been replaced by Tween age and if the 40's is the new 30's then the 20's is the new 10.  I am gong to stop here, because if I go further, it would mean that babies are born with the smartness of a 10 year old... and that's a scary thought. 

Why is there such a rush to grow up? Recently I heard a tween conversation in the school and saying that I was apalled is an understatement. I was fuming. Where are they picking up this language form? I am sure their parents don't approve of it. But then I am told that every one talks like that and those who don't are either nerds or geeks. In other words, being polite is geekiness now.  Don't get me wrong these are good kids, in fact the high achievers in school and yet there is this incessant desire to be cooler. "Cool," another word that is lost in the oblivion of changing times. 

Amongst all the confidence and "I got this," I see indecisiveness, not because they don't want to or know how to, but more so because "what will my friends think?" The peer approval becomes the epitome of decision taking. Yet every once in a while comes along a tween who says "whatever" and takes his/her decision, it is this tween that succeeds and becomes the leader. 

Be a parent or be a friend; is the dilemma. 

When the world calls it a night and sleeps is when I put on my thinking cap and think. Just think, as to what happened, and how did the cute little kids who came running to their parents for every little achievement become so independent that even acknowledging their parents becomes optional.  I don't like it. 

They say its about growing up; growing taller, smarter and hopefully more mature.  How does one make them understand that growing up is a process, one has to learn to grow up. Aging and growing up are not synonyms.   

The experts say be connected to your family. "Connected" is another word going through a transformation. In the 80's.. if you asked a kid, what is that one thing which is free  the kid would probably say "air," today they say "wi-fi."  2014 will see Americans connected even more than before.  Every ad from any internet companies harps on how important it is for the family to be connected. But connected to what? There is a laptop, smart tablets and phones in every household.  Can communication be replaced by the swipe of a finger? 

Life is full of stresses, buckling under and following a crowd is not the answer. How we handle those stresses is what defines us.  It may be hard to be called a geek or a nerd, but mimicking others or disregarding rules to please friends cannot be the answer. 

I don't have answers to any of the questions raised above. These are unchartered waters for me.  

I wish the tweens of today recognize their strengths. They are smart, creative and out of the box thinkers. Their thinking is crystal clear,  all they need is to tune out the buzzing of the iphone and focus on their dreams and aspirations. 

I wonder if they remember Tweety Bird, the cute innocent bird who was smart, witty and unique, just like they are: The Tweeting Tween :)

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