Patience with parents: Navigating the digital world

PHOTO: Senior Skylar Schouten’s mom, Angela Schouten, sometimes relies on her daughters to understand technology.

By Sarah Griffiths, Staff–

Compared to teenagers who grew up in a digital era, parents are constantly having to educate themselves on the latest internet trends and social media platforms.

“We grew up with Tumbler and Youtube and then Instagram and Snapchat got really popular and now the big thing is TikTok,” senior Skylar Schouten said.

Teens are on the front lines to hear about new trends and news, while parents are one step behind. Junior Carolena Morales understands how parents can get lost in this generation’s social media.

“I think the hardest part for parents to understand about social media is the trends and humor. They usually have a hard time making sense of what is posted on social media by our generation,” Morales said.

Although senior Nika Edison’s parents are comfortable and well-versed with social media, she notices the lack of interest in the older age groups.

“It’s just not an integral part of how the previous generations socialize,” Edison said.

In addition, Skylar’s mother, Angela Schouten, believes that she is left out of conversations due to her lack of understanding these ‘trends.’ 

“Often I have no idea what my kids are talking about. The girls will be discussing something and I feel like I should be part of the conversation, but then I begin to realize they are talking about people from Instagram or TikTok or something, so what’s the point,” Angela said.

On top of trends, there are a variety of apps, each with a different purpose. Carolena’s mother, Heather Morales, has a hard time navigating app functions.

“It is sometimes difficult to keep up with the updates on the apps. For example when new features are added or current features are moved around,” Heather said.

Angela Schouten is also familiar with the confusion that comes with modern-day technology.

“I will ask the kids for help figuring out which is what, but they often get frustrated and annoyed so quickly that I end up not really learning anything. If I ask for help navigating an app, they fly through an explanation while madly tapping away at the screen. When I ask them to show me again more slowly, they give the big eye rolls and just can’t understand why I don’t get it,” Angela said.

Heather believes that the main idea teenagers have to keep in mind when teaching their parents how to use social media is patience.

“Being patient and taking the time to explain everything would be very helpful,” Heather said.

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