I have been a divorced mother for the past sixteen years, and my daughter has left to college, graduated after three and half years, moved back but this time with her boyfriend, got married and moved to Idaho. Afterwards, I became somewhat of a loner, though I come from a very large family, plenty of brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews and cousins that I can't count without putting it on paper. I participated at every single birthday party, wedding, baby shower, family trip and come from a family that does nothing else out of their circle. Literally, my family can get together every weekend at someone's house for years and years and years and this is all they ever want to do.
According to the every-now-and-then reminder notice from Facebook (also known as Memories), it's been six years since I took Alex to a celebratory lunch after we attended his graduation ceremony for promoting from Tevis Junior High School to Stockdale High School. I was so proud of him, and it was some rare quality time he and I would share that became less and less common as he got older, and I moved farther away.
Some days I think I'd do better as a parent if I became an Instagram Influencer or Youtuber, and produced a video countdown of my top 10 tips for finding the washing machine and just tagged my kids.
I find it strange how families interact now. There is a disconnect between parents and their kids that was not always present. Older generations are constantly scrutinizing the younger generations, and they call us lazy and ungrateful. They blame us for the downfall of society, which is not accurate. Although millennials and Gen Z kids are not lazy or stupid, as said by their elders, technology has affected them greatly. It especially takes a toll on generation Z.
With each passing generation, the generation before will often judge the generations after them for their differences. While, for many years, there weren’t many differences between generations, with increased technological advancement, generations are becoming much different than those before them.
It is mind-blowing to see and hear about so many stories of cyber abuse: cyber bullying, cyber stalking, child pornography, sex trafficking, body shaming, baby shaming, etc. Yet people from all area codes and backgrounds continue to furnish unnecessary information on the web.
My first venture into Facebook-land was back in February 2008. I set up my account the same day that my beloved New England Patriots were taking on the NY Giants in Superbowl XLII. I posted a picture of my two year old son beaming at me with his arm around his floppy one month old brother, both wearing their carefully selected New England jerseys.
I'm a young guy who reads the news and watches the world around him with fear building. Ice caps melting. Animals going extinct. The deranged becoming presidents. Companies ruling the poor. A decent look at the world and one would not be judged for thinking it's all coming to an end. But then I look at my parents. When a family friend dies, my Mum gets out her pots. She cooks massive vats of curry. Massive vats of the stew that I was raised on. The stew that to this day remains one of my favourite meals for its heartiness, simplicity, and warmth. She gets home from work. Cooks these vats and then disappears off to feed the family of the deceased. Every day for a week. My father, my sister, and I were fed before she left, because, of course. My mum is a superpower. An unstoppable force that makes sure anyone who falters or stumbles gets the exact aid they need. My mum doesn't have a care in the world for the cares of the world. She was teaching me to learn in the years she was given to learn things herself. She doesn't keep up with the Middle East, or East Asia, or the States. She reads the FarmWeek. She isn't going to solve global warming or make capitalism fair. To the healthy, she doesn't give a second glance to. To the rich, she'll clean for them if they give her money. But when the healthy grow sick, or when the rich get poor, that's when she's there. The tide of time washes over the shore. My mum doesn't try to command the ocean to stop advancing. But she'll save the crabs that get knocked on their back by a wave (this is a metaphor, my mum would never touch a crab).
I’m writing this because I was a victim of an online predator and I would never wish what I went through on my worst enemy. It’s been seven years and it still festers in my mind. Everything he said, everything he did; I live with it constantly.
Has this happened to you? You had a rough day — and so you post a little rant about it.... "Toddler colored on the walls while 7 year old bathed the cat in apple juice and the baby threw up all over the clean basket of laundry as if auditioning for the exorcist."
When my fiancé and I first found out I was pregnant, we were absolutely over the moon. We found out on New Year’s Eve, so the news really did mark a new beginning and a different stage of our lives together. Our little boy was planned and we literally couldn’t be happier! All of the friends I told were really happy for me too and I was glad to share my excitement with people who cared.
Sounds rambunctious, doesn't it? Well, believe me, it is possible. Technology does not need to control you, or your child's life, and I am one of the many few parents who believe this. When I was younger, the most advanced technology we had were CD players, VCRs, the huge box TVs, and the funky looking video cameras. We never had iPads, smart phones, flat screen TVs, laptops, Apps, Facebook etc. So why would I present this to my child, only teaching her of this form of entertainment compared to going outside and actually living? I never relied on those, so why should she feel she has to? Well, as you can see, I am not exactly one who ever was entirely reliant on these devices in my life in the past, nor will I coming forth into my daughter's life now and it isn't something I am willing to start.