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September 17, 2013

Clearly our children are growing up in the age of technology.  Also, the age of selfies and duck lips.  As far as I’m concerned there should be a class offered on social media and screens in middle school.  Unfortunately I don’t think public school could teach kids what they really need to know.  Namely, the following:

1.  You will regret that haircut/outfit/pose.  Witness those of us who lived in the Jurassic age, when dinosaurs roamed freely and senior pictures involved enough hairspray to explain the melting of polar icecaps and, inexplicably, bales of hay.

2.  Your “friends” are not your FRIENDS.  “Friends” are just a number. FRIENDS are real people, the kind who save you a spot at the lunch table, who don’t mind spending lame Friday nights together watching movies and consuming Type-2 diabetes levels of sugar while the rest of your “friends” are posting group selfies at a party you weren’t invited to.

3.  Cyberspace is vast.  That trying-too-hard-to-be-sexy pic you texted to your boyfriend of five-minutes (who’s going to dump you for a “friend” within a week, BTW) is getting shared in the locker room, posted on Tumblr, and ogled by a 45-year old who still lives with his mother.  Also?  It’s never going away.  Cyberspace is also forever.

4.  That offhand comment you left on a girl’s Instagram?  Sent her spiraling into depression.  She only posted that pic because she’s incredibly insecure, and when she asked for ratings she was really begging for acceptance.  Words are powerful.  Just because you don’t have to look her in the eye when you say it doesn’t make it any less hurtful.

5.  Your parents are watching.  And so are your friends’ parents.  And your parents’ friends.  And your future employers.  And…well, you get the picture.  We may be old but we’re tech savvy, too.  And we saw what you did there.

6.  There’s this really cool thing called The World.  It doesn’t involve pixels or graphics.  You should check it out.

7.  Despite what Angelina Jolie may have been paid millions to suggest, video games aren’t sexy.  Books are sexy.  Nature is sexy.  Creativity is sexy.  Staring at a screen for hours in your parents’ basement?  Not so much.

8.  Finally, your parents may be nerdy but they love you.  They want to spend time with you.  They want eye contact.  Humor them.  They’re the only people on earth who think you’re awesome 24/7.  Put down the iPhone and have a conversation with them.  You might be surprised.  There’s more to them than what they post on Instagram.

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