Parenting Millennials – Deconstructing Social Media Snark

As follows are our comments on one person’s opinion, so please take them with a grain of salt. That being said, it’s an interesting opinion.

yo-appYou may have seen news this week of the rapid rise of a silly app called Yo. Yo is a messaging app, and the only thing you can do with it is send one of your contacts a message that says “yo”. You can’t ask a question or say thank you. Just yo.

Is there a bubble in silly apps? Maybe. Is there a bubble in investors willing to put money into companies building silly apps? Maybe.

A more interesting question for parents is why young, talented developers are spending time building silly apps. After (probably but not always) getting an expensive college degree, isn’t there a higher calling to pursue? One millennial, the founder of a not-silly startup called Estimize is Leigh Drogen, who took a shot at answering the latter question today. In his piece, he related the case of talented people working at not-serious startups like Yo to the prevalence of snark and other not-serious discourse on social media, particularly by millennials. The highlights:

“My theory? My generation is disappointed in itself and it can’t bare [sic] to look itself in the mirror. We were born to the richest generation on the planet, the baby boomers. We were given all the opportunity in the world to do great things. We were raised with the highest expectations of any generation ever, given trophies for 8th place, coddled as if we were priceless, and set out into the world only to realize that the real world is fucking hard. When 60% of us graduated college and could only find jobs that didn’t require a college degree (if at all), it didn’t exactly play well on the whole “you can be anything you want in life” mantra of our parents.

This has resulted in the Millennials shielding who they really are from the world for fear that it’s just too disappointing for them to bare [sic]. We write and read snarky sarcastic crap, we listen to stupid sarcastic music like “Everything is Awesome”, and we love using meaningless apps like Yo, but even more we love telling each other that we’re using Yo.

Why? Because we all know Yo is f**king stupid, and that’s the point, it’s so dumb that it’s cool. It’s another menial thing to occupy our time and take our minds off the disappointment my generation is to itself, it is completely non threatening. We don’t have to actually formulate a reasonably smart opinion on a new technology like driverless cars or stem cell science, because that would open us up to actually having to put ourselves out there, oh no, way too scary.”

Circling back to the parenting thing, if you are the parent of a teen or young adult, you may have had occasion to check his cell phone sms messages, Twitter or Instagram account and seen just how frivolous it all is – how he communicates with friends and what he has to say.

Is this a big deal? Maybe not, but he should recognize that his personal reputation is at stake if he is doing it publicly. If someone does seek him out online to make an assessment of his character, your son might not get the result he wants.

We aren’t opposed to serious people working on silly things or acting frivolously from time to time. If you do it all the time, you run the risk, in the eyes of others, of that becoming who you are.

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

As follows are our comments on one person’s opinion, so please take them with a grain of salt. That being said, it’s an interesting opinion.

You may have seen news this week of the rapid rise of a silly app called Yo. Yo is a messaging app, and the only thing you can do with it is send one of your contacts a message that says “yo”. You can’t ask a question or say thank you. Just yo.

Is there a bubble in silly apps? Maybe. Is there a bubble in investors willing to put money into companies building silly apps? Maybe.

A more interesting question for parents is why young, talented developers are spending time building silly apps. After (probably but not always) getting an expensive college degree, isn’t there a higher calling to pursue?  One millennial, the founder of a not-silly startup called Estimize is Leigh Drogen, who took a shot at answering the latter question today. In his piece, he related the case of talented people working at not-serious startups like Yo to the prevalence of snark and other not-serious discourse on social media, particularly by millennials. The highlights:

“My theory? My generation is disappointed in itself and it can’t bare [sic] to look itself in the mirror. We were born to the richest generation on the planet, the baby boomers. We were given all the opportunity in the world to do great things. We were raised with the highest expectations of any generation ever, given trophies for 8th place, coddled as if we were priceless, and set out into the world only to realize that the real world is fucking hard. When 60% of us graduated college and could only find jobs that didn’t require a college degree (if at all), it didn’t exactly play well on the whole “you can be anything you want in life” mantra of our parents.

This has resulted in the Millennials shielding who they really are from the world for fear that it’s just too disappointing for them to bare [sic]. We write and read snarky sarcastic crap, we listen to stupid sarcastic music like “Everything is Awesome”, and we love using meaningless apps like Yo, but even more we love telling each other that we’re using Yo.

Why? Because we all know Yo is f**king stupid, and that’s the point, it’s so dumb that it’s cool. It’s another menial thing to occupy our time and take our minds off the disappointment my generation is to itself, it is completely non threatening. We don’t have to actually formulate a reasonably smart opinion on a new technology like driverless cars or stem cell science, because that would open us up to actually having to put ourselves out there, oh no, way too scary.”

Circling back to the parenting thing, if you are the parent of a teen or young adult, you may have had occasion to check his cell phone sms messages, Twitter or Instagram account and seen just how frivolous it all is – how he communicates with friends and what he has to say.

Is this a big deal? Maybe not, but he should recognize that his personal reputation is at stake if he is doing it publicly. If someone does seek him out online to make an assessment of his character, he might not get the result he wants.

We aren’t opposed to serious people working on silly things or acting frivolously from time to time. If you do it all the time, you run the risk, in the eyes of others, of that becoming who you are.

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

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