0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:34 – Speaker 2
Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with things that are filtered, altered, slanted just fake, straight up fake. So today, mandy and I are talking about how to be real in a fake world.
0:00:46 – Speaker 3
It’s kind of hard, It’s super hard. Everything is fake around you The billboards that you see, the magazines. I mean social media is the worst. It is Because you can’t even tell when pictures are filtered and made to look beautiful. They just look beautiful.
0:01:00 – Speaker 2
No flawless, you know, and that’s the problem is, sometimes you don’t even realize something’s fake. You’re comparing or analyzing or looking at something, thinking it’s real, and you’ve been completely fooled.
0:01:10 – Speaker 3
Yeah, it’s true, it’s true, And I think it’s like a slow grain. It infiltrates our heart more than we realize The fact that we just accepted fake as the norm, and I think that’s where we really have to have our guard up, because if we’re letting that infiltrate our view of the world, then our kids are absolutely picking that up?
0:01:33 – Speaker 2
Yeah, totally, you know, i was thinking about this recently. My son, so this is a big step, like we allowed him his first social media. Yes, so he is on Roblox, he earned it. He earned it big time And that’s a whole thing. He worked really hard and really showed us that he couldn’t handle it.
0:01:52 – Speaker 3
He’s been showing you guys things Well and recently something popped up when he was working for a school project.
0:01:58 – Speaker 2
Yes, told you immediately? Yes, so he helped a friend, he taught a friend how to report, and their family. I mean, he’s really stepped into this game, he has earned it, and so on. Roblox now we were, we walked through the whole thing and he is allowed to turn on the talk feature. So that’s his first social media, anyway all that to say he and his friends, which is kind of cool. They set up a time now where they meet on Roblox. It’s so cool.
0:02:23 – Speaker 3
So you’re seeing this now. I’ve been telling you. I know you were right, it’s like the new play dates.
0:02:28 – Speaker 2
It is the middle school or between play dates.
0:02:31 – Speaker 3
Yeah, my 12 year old says do not call them that mom.
0:02:34 – Speaker 1
That’s not what they are, but it’s true We can call them that as moms.
0:02:37 – Speaker 3
They are like little play dates And it’s really cool that they want to be online with their friends. Yes, that they don’t just want to go into a dark room and play by themselves for five hours Yes, that’s what would scare me?
0:02:49 – Speaker 2
It would. You’re so right And I love that they. They do some planning around it because it’s important to them, so they all get together school. They’re like, okay, five o’clock, we’re going to get on and we’re going to go in this game and this is what we’re going to play, and they stick together in the game And. I love listening to their little conversations, you know, because he’s in the living room with me.
0:03:06 – Speaker 3
Well, and then, if somebody is saying something in the chat feature that may be inappropriate, they can all talk amongst themselves Like wait a minute, that wasn’t okay, I love that It’s a really new space for us, but it’s really been fun to watch it unfold Oh.
0:03:19 – Speaker 2
I’m excited about this Yeah, it’s super cool And so, watching that, you know that’s come with some new conversations, obviously, and he’s 10, right Your oldest is 10.
0:03:28 – Speaker 3
So we want to turn 10.
0:03:30 – Speaker 2
And he’s doing a great job. And we had this conversation recently about being fake when he was creating this new avatar in one of his worlds, and so we were looking at his avatar and he was showing me all his friends And it was hilarious what they portray themselves as in their avatars. Now, no, my son looks very much like his avatar. A lot of his friends were like superhero capes, you know, mohawks, like all these different things.
0:03:59 – Speaker 3
Big muscles, yeah, like huge muscles Lots of muscles And it’s like the 50 pound little kid, Exactly exactly.
0:04:05 – Speaker 2
It’s like all their dreams coming out in their avatar. Mine would have really cool abs, yeah, abs, and be like a super football player, yeah, and so it was. It’s just fun, but it was good to talk about, like what are you putting out there and why, and what do you think about this? So we talked a little bit about that And then about the other avatars And there was one that we saw that it was a girl in a bikini with blonde hair And we happened to know who that person is And it’s kind of like the opposite. She’s very quiet, never talks to anybody, hardly at all, but she can be somebody different online.
She can be something different online, and so you can imagine the conversations. And he said, like the key word well, how do I know, then who’s real and what’s real? And so that brought up great conversations about nothing really on the online world. It’s real at first glance And that’s why, when we say this is my friend or my connection, it needs to be someone you know in real life, and we talked about you know, having real conversations and getting to know people and not taking it too seriously because it is a fun online gaming world and not putting too much hope or validity in that. And so great conversations came out of it, and that’s what got me thinking about this show is how do we exist in this world where so much can be fake?
0:05:18 – Speaker 3
Well, and just playing off that a little bit, you know we have to be careful, because anybody can present themselves however they want to be portrayed online, right? So you can literally have a sex trafficking pimp who is trying to talk to your kid on Roblox, but their profile picture is a 12 year old, normal kid. You know that looks like everything is fine, and so these conversations literally can save your kid’s life. Yes, and we have a couple of shows just on that issue alone. We have a cyber stranger show and an online manipulation show. We address all of that, but we definitely, you know, always be having those conversations like do you know this person in real life? Do you know what’s behind that profile picture? Yes, because you can download a picture and beat anybody, anybody you want to beat, you know. This reminds me. So you’re talking about a 10 year old just getting his first kind of exposure to this, right, so I have, you know, older kids, and so I immediately go to the term catfish. Yes, do you know what that means? I do, okay.
0:06:18 – Speaker 2
Because of Nick’s talk.
0:06:20 – Speaker 3
Well, because so catfishing is when it’s almost like a dating situation, basically, but you’re portraying yourself as something that you’re not So think. you know online dating platforms or even on Instagram to try and talk to girls or you know whoever you want to date, whatever it is.
0:06:37 – Speaker 2
Look at someone Right.
0:06:39 – Speaker 3
And it’s basically like you know you’re presenting yourself as a stud and it can go both ways a girl or a boy But you know, then you actually show up for the date and you’re an 800 pounds person.
You know, you’re not really the stud that you portrayed yourself as, but you’ve had this online relationship, so then it’s kind of hard for the lady to be like I don’t like you, because you know, i mean, she’s liked him online but now she sees him and she’s like it’s kind of all these weird feelings It’s a false reality.
It is a false reality, and it’s not so much that I mean. I mean appearances do matter. They’re not everything, but we have to be honest, they do matter some. And it really does matter when people lie to you about their appearances.
0:07:23 – Speaker 2
Why are you laughing, Kim? I’m just imagining. I’m thankful that I didn’t have to date online. That’s what I’m imagining right now. Because that has got to be so hard?
0:07:32 – Speaker 3
because you really don’t know. I would have been making myself look real cute online. I would have been using all the filters, All the filters. My skin would have been flawless. I would have had long flowy blonde hair too. I totally just got a business idea.
0:07:48 – Speaker 2
I’m going to open, like some cafes where the lighting is super low, and I’m going to call it first date cafe Or catfish cafe, so you can pile on the makeup and the hair and show up. No, but really, i mean that’s what we’re talking about. It’s so much of what we live in nowadays is altered And so really having those conversations with your kids is so pedirly more help, heart and so important. Talking to them about cultivating in-person relationships and, as they get older and they’re dating, i mean that’s like a vital conversation.
0:08:19 – Speaker 3
Well, the thing about dating now, when you’re younger and we’ve heard this from we’ve had a college girl on and she did a Show about dating in the digital world.
0:08:27 – Speaker 2
Yes, so much from her.
0:08:28 – Speaker 3
I did that show but you know, one of the things that teenagers tell me a lot is you know, it starts online and it’s kind of good because a boy doesn’t have to be rejected in person. You know, at school I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Yeah, I feel like there’s interesting life lessons that happen in that face-to-face Asking a girl. But they they kind of fill it out online Like are you interested? and they kind of talk to the girl.
It’s called talking, yes, but then, but then a lot of times what we’re hearing is Boys and girls have a hard time transitioning to real-world dating, so that online relationship may go on for like six months. And I mean, i’m not talking anything inappropriate, i’m talking about just flirting and I like you and you know. But when is the real? like let’s go have ice cream or let’s go to dinner or let’s just meet up at the football game Even you know what is that gonna happen?
0:09:20 – Speaker 2
transition that nine-week video series in which you can look at on our website, nextorg, and One of the teenagers that we talked to she was in high school at the time was saying like guys or girls can be talking to like 50 people at the same time and you might be thinking I’m the only one and we’re building this relationship.
0:09:39 – Speaker 3
They’re snapping everybody?
0:09:40 – Speaker 2
Yes, they’re, they’re talking to everybody and having these ongoing relationships and never transitioning, like you said. And so, again, there’s not that authenticity of the in-person commitment, because we’re living in this kind of fake in-between space.
0:09:54 – Speaker 3
Well, and you know, we just did a show recently on viscogurl BSCO girl, you know, and that’s an image that you can have and, again, it’s fine if that’s who you are and it’s the things that you like, but is it your true self and are you representing who you really are? Yeah, i also, you know the other end of the spectrum I talk about. Think about pornography, yes, and how it’s really affecting our kids, because they’re getting exposed younger and younger and They’re that’s what their view of sex is. They’re getting their sex ed through pornography.
0:10:27 – Speaker 2
I’m just gonna say it Yeah, which is fake, staged, not authentic. I mean, it’s all of these things that we don’t want our kids, it’s often very rough and very like making people objects. It’s not how God designed sex to be at all.
0:10:41 – Speaker 3
Well, and let me just say, since I’m wearing a pornography thing, i mean parents. The more I speak at events throughout the country, the more that I just need to continually say to you. I know it objectifies women and that’s always been a problem, but it objectifies our boys to absolutely boys. I mean, one of the most searched terms on porn hub is anal and we need to know that. Like I and I hate that, i have to say that but it is super important that we know that because they are getting their sex ed From pornography from a screen and it’s Bake.
0:11:16 – Speaker 2
If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk Radio at 2pm on AM 630. The Word. nextTalk Radio is sponsored in part by the PAX Financial Group and listeners just like you. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through your donations To support our organization. Go to nexttalkorg and click on give.
0:11:57 – Speaker 1
But if you are considering a change, this might be the right time to look at San Antonio’s PAX Financial Group 210-881-5700 PAXFinancialGroupcom.
0:12:07 – Speaker 3
Investment advisory services offered through PAX Financial Group. So in the first segment we talked about all the fake that’s being in the world, and right about now you’re just like, well, is everything fake around?
0:12:19 – Speaker 1
me Right Is there anything true anymore?
0:12:21 – Speaker 3
Yeah Right, because we were kind of doom and gloom. We just wanted to set the picture up to you to make sure you understand how this really is infiltrating us and our kids and how it’s changing the way we look at people and the way we interact with them.
0:12:36 – Speaker 2
One of the things that I’m trying to talk to my kids about while they’re young is about what is authenticity, and a lot of times we talk about like, oh, the fake images, the look, what you’re putting out there, but really it’s not about your image, but it’s being brave to express your genuine feelings and opinions. It’s about who you are on the inside. That’s being authentic And that’s what we need to teach our kids, whether they’re online or in person. What does it mean to be true? And that’s an important conversation that starts young.
0:13:06 – Speaker 3
Well, i think this is key here, kim, because if they can really be confident in who they are on the inside, then they’re not trying to be something different on the outside. They don’t feel like they have to sway for every group of people or be something that they’re not, because you’re raising little confident people that are confident in who they are on the inside.
0:13:25 – Speaker 2
They’re going to see the trends come and go. They’re going to see their friends getting into things. They’re going to be drawn towards something, but if they know who they are, they can stand firm in that, and that’s being your authentic self.
0:13:37 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i mean, if we’re going changing with the tides and we’re doing whatever it takes to be popular in the moment and there’s no thought process of does this identify who? I am Right?
You know, for example, vsco girl. There’s nothing wrong with that fact. You know it’s scrunchies and cute shoes and water bottles and hydro flask and you know cute little chokers, stickers, all that stuff right. If that’s what you like, there’s no problem with being a VSCO girl. But if that’s not your thing, why would you conform to be that? if you’re just not that Exactly, you don’t like those things Exactly. And those are where the questions come in with our kids, like why are you doing it? I was talking to a mom recently and she said my daughter wanted to wear this dress to school to impress a boy And she was like first or second grade. And so we talked through that And my advice to her was listen, there’s nothing wrong with your kid wearing a cute dress because it makes your kid feel confident and amazing And like she can tackle the world in it, right. But if we’re doing it just to impress somebody else, there’s a whole lot of conversations that need to happen there, because that is a red flag to me.
0:14:53 – Speaker 2
And you know what. I just want to touch on that for a second because I think it’s real easy as parents for us to freak out and jump on something. And if your kid is coming to you and being honest about why they’re doing something like I’m wearing this dress today because I want to impress this boy it’d be real easy to go into like mama protection mode and be like that’s crazy, take it off, like no, you be yourself, you go change and wear something you love, and that’s just going to push your kid away. And then they’re not going to tell you next time when they’re struggling with the why behind what they’re doing, because it’s too much drama And she made me change Way too much.
0:15:26 – Speaker 3
This mom did everything right and I was so proud of her. She didn’t overreact, But she noticed it and she came to me and said I feel like I have to have some conversations here because I didn’t like what I heard. And it was like the perfect thing, amazing, and I think that’s what we need to take note of. When we see our kid doing something, oftentimes I mean sometimes in the moment you have to get in there, you know if it’s something major, you know their, their health or risk or something is at stake, but oftentimes we need to step back for a minute and just say, okay, i noticed this.
I think we need to have some conversations about this, but right now is not the time. Me going and flying off the handle and just screaming things at her is not going to solve the problem.
0:16:05 – Speaker 2
Well and part of the conversation can be when she comes home, let her wear that dress and see what happens. What’s that Come home, and that can be part of the conversation. And I’m going to flip the switch on you because I’ve done this myself where my kid has been wearing something or doing something and I wanted them to do something different because I thought it was cool for them. And I’ve had to have the conversations and I’ve had to say like, okay, my daughter just not like bows in her hair. Do you know what I’m saying? I know that sounds little And you have two boys, so you want her to like bows.
0:16:38 – Speaker 3
Put that bow back. This is my only chance, girl. This is my only chance.
0:16:42 – Speaker 2
Yes, And that’s not her thing. I’m the one pushing it. I’m the one stepping in that space.
0:16:49 – Speaker 3
Oh girl, this is a preacher right here, This whole this.
0:16:52 – Speaker 2
You know my kid. He has this like cute hair and it looks so cute, swooped to the side and that’s like a popular style right now. And he came to me the other day and he’s like I want to cut it all off And my first reaction inside was like no, it’s so cute, it’s the style you look so cute, but that’s me putting it on him. It’s not what he wants, and so it can go both ways. Here is what I’m saying being authentic and teaching your kid to stand firm and who they are and what they want is a life lesson from both sides.
0:17:19 – Speaker 3
Absolutely Well and you know, a lot of times what happens is when we’re not being our true, authentic self, or we don’t know who we are and we’re not confident in who we are, we start wearing all these masks. Yes, because we’re tossed about by the winds and we’re changing with the crowd, with whatever.
0:17:33 – Speaker 2
And the world celebrates flawless masks? Yes, it totally does, that’s true.
0:17:38 – Speaker 3
That’s what’s put up on a pedestal. You know, this is what I’m learning. I mean, my kid is 15, my oldest and she’s on social media And I love it because it creates so many conversations. But here’s what I will tell you 100% from teenagers today. They see fake all day long on social media. They know the kids that are singing at youth group on Wednesday night and live in the double life. Yeah, the Instagram post looks like youth and there’s a Bible verse and all the things. But they know when kids are living the double life And I bet they see that more often than not, oh, more often It is hard to find the true, authentic person.
And I will tell you parents, listen, i mean, this is so crucial of what I’ve been learning If we can fill the space of being real with them, because they crave it. Everything is fake and filtered. They crave real And almost, it’s almost like they just wanna have the real conversation where you’re just being super honest. And when you can fill that void and be that space, it is like crazy. What God can do, i bet And I think that’s what I really want you all to know is be the real for your kids, and that means tough conversations.
That means, hey, when I was your age, i did this and I learned from it, and I was the one like I have told my kids, i’m the one that was dressing inappropriately as a teenager because I wanted guys’ attention. I was the one that tried to do whatever was popular. Please don’t be me Like I had no true friends, like I pushed everybody away. That was a true friend, right, and so it was a whole big thing for me. My friend group changed a lot because I was always trying to be the person.
0:19:16 – Speaker 2
Yes, don’t be me, don’t be me. I love that you’re being honest about that, because I think that comes in different seasons of life A lot of times in high school, middle school. That’s a really big struggle And we can step into that space and be authentic with our kids and show them what that looks like And, like you said, they’ll be so drawn to that that hopefully they will also want to be that for their friends. You know they’ll take that and run with it. We get to be that example And then I feel like it swells up again as parents.
Yeah, you know it’s a new space. You can’t know what it’s like to be a parent until you are one. And I know in our circles there were times when I felt like I needed to be a certain way to be a quote unquote good mom, and a lot of times I was wearing a mask and you got to rip those off And sometimes it hurts and you lose friends and you feel awkward and you’re not sure what’s going on. But the more that you refocus on who God created you to be, the more you realize what a better mom you can be And that prepares you for raising up those kids and being in those authentic conversations. When they do become tweens and teens, it’s like a whole cycle.
0:20:19 – Speaker 3
It absolutely is, and you know one thing that I’m seeing you’re saying raising tweens and teens. one other thing that plays into this is our kids, like never before, have been kind of pressured to check off a box about their sexuality at a very young age, like you label yourself as this. And again, if we’re not feeling that space and being the real and we’re not having the conversations about what God says about this, our kids can end up wearing these different masks that really aren’t them And we need to be careful of this.
0:20:54 – Speaker 2
Well, and I think that’s a good space to get in the habit of talking to your kids about. Why are you doing this? How do you really feel about this? What are you thinking? How do you feel about what your friends thinking Like open-ended questions all the time. Well, and why?
0:21:10 – Speaker 3
Because a lot of times. why are you feeling that way? It may be because they saw pornography, Or because they saw something that made them feel this way, or it just feels good, yes. And so all of those questions are good. Open-ended questions.
0:21:23 – Speaker 2
I think, at the end of the day, if we can teach our kids to run after God’s purpose, we’re really setting the groundwork for them to be healthy young adults. I mean, he’s 100%, authentic, 100% of the time. He is the one place where we can run to. that will never fail us.
0:21:43 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i mean, when we don’t know the answer, we seek God. When we don’t know what to do, seek God. You know, when we don’t understand, we have to have faith. We’ve just had, i just had, a whole conversation with my, with my teenager about how faith is unseen and there’s some things we may not understand this side of heaven. I just had that conversation too.
0:22:03 – Speaker 2
Yeah, and you know.
0:22:04 – Speaker 3
Isaiah. in Isaiah. his ways are not our ways. We don’t see the big picture, And so sometimes it takes just trusting him and having faith. And that’s what he’s called us to do, And are we willing to do it?
0:22:17 – Speaker 2
I was just talking with my son the other day about you know, being real and being you, and and I was saying, you know, when we stop caring about what other people’s expectations are and we put that energy into what is God wanting from me, or calling me to, that space is such a healthier place to be It really is You don’t?
feel like you’re back and forth and wondering and longing It’s. It’s this place of peace that we all really want, and we try to get it in all these other spaces. And when we figure out that it’s in God that we find our focus, it’s in God we find our purpose and our identity. It’s like a piece, like nothing else.
0:22:54 – Speaker 3
I’ve always wanted to raise my kids with this quiet confidence.
0:22:57 – Speaker 2
0:22:58 – Speaker 3
And that’s what comes to mind When you said that. I kept thinking in my head the quiet confidence that I’ve been chasing after. You know that they are confident in who they are And when they doubt, they seek God with it. It’s okay to have questions about what. Who am I and what am I supposed to do in this world?
That’s that’s absolutely natural right And so, but that they, that they seek God and they’re confident in him And they’re not worried about what’s popular today and what’s popular tomorrow. And if this person likes me and if I’m going to be this or I’m going to be that, because, like you said, that that drains us and it takes away our peace And, i think, about this world that they’re growing up in.
0:23:36 – Speaker 2
I think we can all relate to feeling drained. We can all relate to feeling like there’s this pull, more than ever before, because we are living these lives that are constantly on, constantly in, constantly clicked, and I mean it’s busy and filtered busy and filtered.
It’s a lot of fake that we’re trying to process that wasn’t necessarily there before on that level. So it’s like a whole new set of brain powers that we have to deal with. And so that peace. I long for that more than ever, And to get our kids in that space early is a gift.
0:24:07 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and I, you know I often tell my kids, hey, if it looks perfect on social media, it’s probably falling apart at home, like, have your guard up. You know I never want to come off as the perfect person on social media And I know sometimes we all do, we all fall into that trap. But we need to have our guard up and continually talk to our kids about these things And you know we never want to look perfect on social media. But I know I’m living by my own cyber parenting rules over here And a lot of times when my kids mess up I’ll be like, can I please share this on social media? And they’ll be like, no, so I’m just as guilty here.
I know because they’re all about yeah, post the bragging post, oh yeah. And so you know we have to be careful with that. But also, you know, if somebody is continually just looking perfect and amazing and three vacations a year and five homes all across the world.
I mean, have your guard up, you know, they could. Literally their family could be falling apart And they could be absolutely lonely Or going through a divorce or what I mean, whatever. And so just know that not everything presented on social media is accurate. So just a couple of wrap up points.
0:25:15 – Speaker 2
Don’t allow your external image to replace true authenticity in a fake world. Be the real for your kids. Masks are dangerous. They don’t just hide us, they transform us over time and run after God’s purpose. He is 100% authentic, 100% of the time.
0:25:34 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 630, The Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast at nexttalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page