Last December 6, at the Children’s Global Summit, Prince William spoke about the impact of social media on the next generation.
The Duke of Cambridge said “Parents like Catherine and me are raising the first generation of digitally-immersed children – and this gives us many reasons to be optimistic about the impact of technology on childhood.”
If you’re an early generation millennial like myself, born sometime in the mid-80s, you have a pretty good idea how the world has changed even just in the last decade. Growing up with nothing but bugs, books and great the outdoors to be occupied with but also experiencing the dawn of technology as we grew older, it’s safe to say we really did have the best of both worlds.
In a way, we were able to enjoy our childhood – getting dirty and making new friends the “old fashioned way” but also still young enough to grasp the concept of sending texts, emails, meeting people online and browsing for the latest updates on our friends and the world, on social media.
However, kids of today’s generation may not exactly have the same luxuries as we did growing up. Today, most kids own a mobile phone from when they are as young as 8 years old and some parents do not bat an eyelid when it comes to screen time on individual tablets.
In 20 years or so, a millennial would have a completely different story of his or her childhood compared to someone who was born in the 2000s. And because a lot of what we know today came from our childhood, the difference between generations will have a significant impact on how we live our lives, and more importantly, the memories we make.
If you’re someone who grew up without social media, then perhaps you like looking back at old photos and then remembering parts of your childhood that you may or may not have forgotten. On the other hand, if you grew up with social media, your approach to memories is more than a little different.
In a way, some of our “memories” are becoming contrived because of our constant need to post on our social media accounts. It is called INSTA-gram after all. Everything feels like it should belong in the present – the likes, the hearts, the engagement with friends through comments, and unfortunately, sometimes, even the moment itself.
Ironically, we have come up with hashtags like #nofilter, #justgoshoot and #realstory but behind some or even most of these photos are just, well, photos. The people who are so caught up with the ‘social’ part of social media have somehow lost their ability to live in the moment and just appreciate it fully without having to pull out their phones.
I’m not saying social media is stealing all our memories – in fact, the opposite. It is a great tool that must be used with care and accountability. Pictures should serve as a reminder for fond memories, not the reason to make those memories in the first place. And what about those memories that do not come with a photograph? Are they less important? Today, we act as though those moments do not matter – as they do not form part of our social media history.
Why is keeping a log of our memories important?
But regardless of what year you were born, and which generation you identify with, making memories is a part of who we are and tells us a story of where we have come from. That’s the wonderful thing about memories – it transcends through age, gender, race and everything else.
It’s important to us simply because we are humans and it is our way to look back, appreciate where we’ve come from and who we’ve spent our time with and to look ahead to share with the next generation. It is important because we have hearts that beat for joy and a sense of belonging – things that memories give us when we remember them.
Holding on to certain moments in our lives also reminds us of our purpose in the present. It teaches us not to regret anything but instead to relish every memory, every lesson learned in the past. At the same time, it reminds us how far we’ve come and why we do what we do to thrive in the world.
This is why Memfy exists, it’s literally a memory saving app. With Memfy, you can easily scroll down your timeline and literally see how far you’ve come in life but at the same time, never forget how you got there in the first place. In a way, Memfy is a time machine that lets you bounce back to different times in your life and look back with joy and contentment.
Remembering people, places, dates and little details lets the people we love know that we value them in our life. It shows them that although some moments are not as grand and even seemingly insignificant, that they’ve had a profound impact on us somehow.
Lastly, and perhaps the most important reason of all, our memories from the past help us bridge the gap through different generations. Imagine if your parents shared with you the memories they had logged from their own lives? Perhaps even their lives before you were born? How insightful would those little memories be of the people that brought you up from a time before they were parents? When moments are remembered and treasured as memories, they become traditions for future families and generations to come.
childhood, family, family memories, memories, parenthood, playing, social media, stories, traditions,