0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 630, the word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a nonprofit organization helping parents cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, find our video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at NextTalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:34 – Speaker 2
Today’s show is about how social media often distorts our thought process. It messes with our mind. It does. I can totally see that.
0:00:42 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i mean whether it be a hashtag or a funny meme, you know we’re getting all these cute little messages on social media and we need to be careful. We need to like, take them captive. Yeah, you know, the Bible tells us to take our thoughts captive. and I’m saying take those social media messages captive.
0:00:59 – Speaker 2
Yeah, you really need to run them through a filter. Absolutely, i mean some of them are cute, but some of them are kind of intense.
0:01:04 – Speaker 3
Well, and I think sometimes our teens and our kids, even if they’re cute and funny, they take them as a truth that can be applied to every situation. Yeah, and it can actually be super dangerous, and so that’s where we come in as parents. You know, we have to know their online world, and then it’s a whole lot of conversation about these messages that they’re getting through social media.
0:01:28 – Speaker 2
Well, and I think it starts with us, because we do the same I’ve read things before and I’ve seen things and immediately it registers as truth and, like you said, we have to take that captive and then teach that to our kids through conversation.
0:01:41 – Speaker 3
I mean, it’s the same thing that you look at fake news at now. Yes, you look at something and you’re like whoa, wait a minute, is that true or not? Are those stats really accurate? Are they skewed in any way? Like? you ask yourself those questions now because there’s so much information available. We’re living in a new time, it’s so true. And so you have to do the same things with these little hashtags and these memes that we just post all the time without really thinking about it.
0:02:03 – Speaker 2
0:02:05 – Speaker 3
The first thing is you have got to be in their online world. And just a tip here If you are not on Twitter, you need to be, even if your kids are not on Twitter. Twitter gives you a sense of the heartbeat, of what people are thinking.
0:02:19 – Speaker 2
0:02:20 – Speaker 3
And from both sides. Yeah, and what you can do is set up a Twitter account. You don’t even have to follow many people, but you can just go to the trending, like. go to the search bar at the bottom and what will pop up is everything that’s trending. Go there on those hashtags and read what people are saying. You’re going to get all sorts of different opinions on all sorts of different topics and that kind of gives you a sense of what your kids are seeing online all the time.
0:02:46 – Speaker 2
Or what’s being talked about on campus, because, like you said, even if they’re not on Twitter, when they’re at school, that’s what kids are going to be talking about.
0:02:52 – Speaker 3
Or at the lunch table, or there may be a debate in class. You know, let’s talk about this Twitter hashtag today or what’s in the news, and so that is a great way to be in their online world. but this show kind of happened as many of our shows do All of our shows, yeah.
A recent parenting thing that happened with me. Yeah, And it was. you know, it was kind of funny because there’s this new meme hashtag kind of thing that’s going around and it’s called okay boomer. So there’s a comment in between those. Yeah, You’re like okay boomer. with a with an eye roll.
0:03:26 – Speaker 2
0:03:27 – Speaker 3
Except the meme or that the hashtag is just okay, boomer, like that’s what people are saying, and my daughter and I had talked about it for a while, about this hashtag and people using it in different ways, and then I had a mom text me and be like have you ever heard of this? And I was like, oh, this is something we need to talk about. Yeah, not everybody knows about this, right And when. I was telling you about it because you don’t have kids. On No clue. You were like what.
0:03:58 – Speaker 2
Yeah, I had not heard it yet.
0:04:00 – Speaker 3
Yeah. So this is something that I kind of want to talk about today, and we’re going to use another example too for my book. But they’re just an idea of how these little messages that we get on social media can often distort our thoughts. So let me talk to you about the okay boomer one first. Um, so my kid and I we were talking one day and she said there’s this new thing going around, okay, boomer. And I was like well, explain it to me. And she’s like oh, you know, it’s like when an old person does something, that’s like okay, boomer, yeah, you know. And my mind immediately went to like you know, as a teenager, thinking like traditional values and like marriages for a man and a woman and don’t have sex until you’re married, you’re like okay, boomer, right, as a teenager, that’s what I would have thought. Okay, boomer was a thing, yeah. And so in my mind I got a little defensive at first, but I have learned with a teenager, you do not speak those defensive thoughts first.
0:04:58 – Speaker 2
It just shuts things down, right It does.
0:05:00 – Speaker 3
And so that’s where my mind went And I was like well, give me some examples. And the example says she’s given was we’re giving me what we’re valid. Yeah, so they were things like how sometimes as parents and us older generation, we oftentimes look down on teenagers like we think, oh, they’re all using drugs or they’re all sharing nudes on social media or they’re all looking at pornography. You know, we just go there and we stereotype them. And she’s like there are good teens doing amazing things. And I’m like, absolutely, you are right. And so when I saw it from her perspective, i understood it a little bit more And I was like, okay, not in every case is it meant to devalue somebody’s opinion. And I kind of understood it a little bit more. Right, and I think that’s so important parenting a teen to understand where they’re coming from, because we automatically go to defensive mode And that just shuts down communication.
And so a couple days after this conversation happened, i had an adult stranger come up to me And this person was asking me about my teenager And asking me things like what does she spend time on, how does she spend her money, those sorts of things. And I would give answers And they were like well, we thrift shop, she doesn’t really wear expensive clothes And she really likes to stay home. Like a lot of kids communicate on social media, so they don’t party as much as we did. You know what I mean? They can connect with their friends at home And so they enjoy doing that and things like that. And this person just kept kind of pushing And eventually said something like well, there’s got to be a red fox somewhere. I mean, it’s a teenager. And in my mind I’m thinking, ok, boomer, he wasn’t even a boomer, right, but I’m like OK, boomer.
And so my teenager was overhearing this whole conversation And so we didn’t say anything. You know, we got into the car And she was like I just felt like I was being attacked, Like why is it that I have to be doing something negative all the time? Sure, And I said, well, in my mind I was thinking, OK, boomer, And we cracked up Like we laughed.
0:07:28 – Speaker 2
You won a lot of mom points, right, Right, Oh my goodness.
0:07:31 – Speaker 3
Because I knew the online world And I didn’t attack it immediately, right, but we had a good laugh at it. And so a couple of days later she was like hey, at the lunch table today I was telling my friends about the story and about how you were thinking. Ok, boomer, and my friends are like run for president.
0:07:49 – Speaker 2
0:07:49 – Speaker 3
Mandy for president. I scored some mom points right Serious mom points. But at the same time, i also knew I needed to have some big conversations with her about how this can be used in a negative light, and so I first found what worked and what bonded us. Sure, right, and then I realized, ok, i got to pray about this and how to approach it, but I need her to understand that this is not OK all the time.
0:08:17 – Speaker 2
0:08:18 – Speaker 3
So because it can be dismissive Yes, it can be, you know like agist Yeah, because you’re basically lumping all these people together. It can make you tune out to wisdom that somebody’s trying to impart into you.
0:08:31 – Speaker 2
It can be disrespectful you know, to authority or looking down on people just because they have traditional or different views.
0:08:37 – Speaker 3
Because you got defensive when I was telling you about it. right, you were like oh heck to the note.
0:08:41 – Speaker 2
Yes, Yes, well, i was thinking how we spend so much time as nextTalk talking about understanding their culture, like being in their world, like know what they’re experiencing, know what they’re feeling and going through, and so I feel like it could be talked about in reverse, like you’re doing the same thing Based on what their comments are. You’re saying, well, i don’t understand what it means to be a boomer, and so I’m going to judge you based on what you’re doing and saying. And so if you reverse that thought process in your conversation with your kid and say, hey, boomers went through some different things too that were new to their generation, and their opinion is based out of that, and they may not know what you’re going through, but same you probably don’t know what they went through. And so it’s an opportunity to be respectful and learn about each other’s culture or experiences.
0:09:30 – Speaker 3
I love that And you know. I think it also points out that we have a generation guide. Like we gap, that we’ve never had before.
0:09:39 – Speaker 2
0:09:39 – Speaker 3
Because of the online world.
0:09:41 – Speaker 2
0:09:41 – Speaker 3
It’s creating an environment and a culture our kids are growing up in that they have access to so much information. I mean, even we we’re not boomers, But we don’t know what it’s like to have sex talks in second and third grade. It was middle school and high school and college before we even had to talk about that with our parents. But now, because of the online world, we’ve got littles that are being exposed to pornography and hearing about sex on the playground, And so we’ve got to step in there and do those conversations And so for our grand, for their grandparents, to understand that it’s a whole new world It’s going to take a minute.
It’s going to take a minute.
0:10:18 – Speaker 2
And I think that’s a part of the conversation to have with our kids. When they’re thinking in that way, like you just don’t get it Or you know, ok, boomer, or whatever. It may be a funny thing and harmless in certain circumstances, but I think that’s part of the conversation too is to have some empathy and understanding that there is this big gap And it’s gonna take a minute, and how else are they gonna know except from you? Like we’ve gotta be willing to share and explain if they’re willing to hear And not everybody will be, but there will be some people who have no clue and need us to clue them in.
0:10:51 – Speaker 3
Yeah, so I did a little bit of research as I’m praying and processing how I’m gonna have this conversation, Cause I’m like I gotta go back and have some teachable moments here, Even though I think this is fun and can be used in fun ways, it can be so detrimental also, and I saw all that, and so, again, i went on Twitter and I hashtagged it and I got to see all sorts of different opinions and horrible things and funny things, all the spectrum And I really was thinking about how I was gonna bring this up, and so the Lord and I was praying for the right time, because timing is important.
The Lord opened up a time in the car where we had to drive separate from my husband and my son, and it just opened up a window, perfect timing, perfect timing. And we were on the road going to a game and she was in the mood to chat, and so we were talking about all sorts of different things, and so I circled back And I was like, hey, let’s talk about this okay boomer thing. We had fun with it And I can totally see where it can be relevant sometimes. But just like with any other hashtag or just like with any other funny meme, we have to take those thoughts, captive and put it through a filter. Like, does this apply to every situation?
And I said do you see how, like if Jesus were even alive today and he said something like turn the other cheek to your enemy, how a meme could be going back and saying, okay, boomer, like, really I’m getting revenge because that’s what the world would do. And so I’m like and so when you do that, it’s dismissive and it tunes you out to anything that person has to say, and I feel like this hashtag could be used. Satan could use it to tune you out to wisdom that is trying to be spoken into you by your grandparents, by a pastor, by your parents, us And we have to be careful of that. And so we brainstormed about some examples, and one of them was that you have to wait till you get married and sex is between a man and a woman inside of marriage, all those traditional values that are biblically based, and how we can just dismiss those because, okay, boomer.
0:13:03 – Speaker 2
Yeah, well, I think that’s kind of a pattern that we have to break with any of those fun little sayings or catchy little phrases that come up. Another good one is love is love.
0:13:15 – Speaker 3
Yeah, remember that I tackled that one in my book and it sounds so It sounds lovely and loving, but it’s a slippery slope.
0:13:26 – Speaker 2
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0:13:54 – Speaker 1
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0:14:19 – Speaker 3
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0:14:25 – Speaker 2
Talking about different phrases and how it can cause you to miswisdom, it can cause you to become judgmental, but it can also be kind of fun And trying to find that balance and understanding things like okay, boomer, or phrases like love is love, and how they can become a slippery slope if we don’t really understand the purpose and the meaning behind them or the situation that they’re being used in. So you said love is love in your book. You talked a little bit about that and how that one in particular can cause a problem.
0:14:55 – Speaker 3
Well, when I was writing my book, i definitely saw how that little, sweet little social media sentiment was being distorted by people.
There were stories of a 12 year old little girl and she’s fallen in love with a 70 year old man on Instagram and she sang to her parents but love is love, you told me. love is love. And what do you say to that? Because if you’ve spoken that as truth, they’ve accepted it as truth, and then there’s no boundaries to that, or falling in love with your teacher. There are boundaries that need to be in place here, and so I think that is really what we have to see in all of this is that these sentiments the okay boomer, the love is love. it sounds so harmless and kind and sweet and okay, but our kids are accepting them as truth. that can be applied to every situation, and that’s where we have a problem. It’s distorting their thought process, their logical thought process. It’s messing with our minds, and this is where we come in as parents, because if we’re in that online world and we see it happening, that’s where we can dig in and have these amazing conversations. that helps our kids navigate that.
0:16:20 – Speaker 2
Yeah, and that goes back to the sole reason that we have nextTalk and that we the thing that we talk about all the time is having the difficult conversations, digging in and being willing to not put up those walls and get defensive or mad, but really hear your kid out, know their culture, know what their online world is all about, so that you can have those important conversations and help them learn to look at things differently.
Not just spoon feed it to them, but talk it through and let them start to analyze and understand what they’re hearing and seeing, so that those conversations can be, they can see how those conversations are important, they can have those conversations with their peers, they know how to look at things differently on their own, when they’re beyond the reach of you and your spouse And I think that’s what I see in this is there’s these things that are always going to come up, like love is love and okay, boomer. Or things that they hear on the playground or in the classroom with a teacher who’s maybe outspoken This has something trendy or funny that people laugh at, or is interesting teaching your kid how to look at that and really step back and say, okay, how does this apply to me or not? What does this really mean And when is it appropriate to use this? I mean, that’s a great life skill that we get to teach our kids with these things.
0:17:29 – Speaker 3
Well, and I think too, you know, as a parent of an older kid, I think what you have to be really careful about is not getting upset that they may have missed the different perspective.
0:17:40 – Speaker 2
0:17:41 – Speaker 3
Okay, so they’re still kids. They’re still kids trying to, and they have so much information that they’re processing again, unlike any other generation. So that generational gap and that understanding of what they’re going through is larger than ever before, yes, and so our bridge to that is open communication, like that’s how we’re bridging that gap. And a lot of you out there are like I don’t have time to go on Twitter and look at hashtags and see what’s trending. Well, that’s why you have nextTalk. Yeah, i mean, that’s why we’re doing the research for you, so you can stay on top of this. If you are so busy and you don’t have time to, you’re like I cannot be in our online world, but I don’t have the time to do it. We’re trying to fill that gap for you as a parent and as a school administrator. I mean, teachers need this as well. They need to know what’s trending online as they prepare.
0:18:30 – Speaker 2
Well, they’ve got a whole classroom of kids that are talking and seeing and hearing and being able to be relevant is so important. It goes so far for them.
0:18:38 – Speaker 3
Well, i mean, think about it Kids can record their teachers and do and be like, okay, boomer, like you need to know what’s going on. Yeah, parents, you can get recorded, you know, and be made into a meme Okay, boomer. And so I just think that you know, we need to be really careful not to get mad at them for missing it or being like sucked into the sweet little sentiments on social media. You know, i think that that’s one of the things that I’ve learned in parenting a teen is when she started saying this, i wanted to be like, oh my gosh, can’t you see the bigger picture here, but I had to just sit in the moment and see what she found out.
That was funny about it. You know and understand it, And then I saw it and I was like, oh my gosh, this is accurate sometimes But just like everything, it can’t be applied. Like stereotypes are bad, you can’t apply that to everything.
0:19:34 – Speaker 2
Well, i think it’s such a great opportunity to teach your kids how to dig deeper and how to look at someone else’s perspective If you’re willing to not get defensive and see their perspective and relate to it just like you did, like step one, don’t get defensive, listen to what they’re saying, relate to what you can understand and see how they’re seeing it. Then, when the time is right and God opens up that window, you can walk them through how they can see it from a different perspective. You know it’s like step by step. A lot of times I think we launch into the preaching we lecture mode Yeah.
I do that automatically Like oh my goodness.
0:20:10 – Speaker 3
That’s how Old Mandy would have handled this whole thing, but New Mandy is really learning to engage. If I’m wanting to know their world and their culture, i have to listen, like I have to understand where they’re coming from And they’re willing to hear it out.
0:20:22 – Speaker 2
I found that even with my kids, who are younger, they’ll say their version of like okay, boomer. About my mom And I had a recent conversation. I was like you know, Gigi, she came from a time where she really wanted to be a professional in a certain realm And as a woman she like really had to work hard to climb the ladder, Like it was not equal And she had to really set herself apart and do double the work and all these things. And so when she responds to our daughter with a certain comment, that doesn’t make a lot of sense now it’s cause that’s the place where she’s coming from. That was her experience And they were like oh really, What do you mean? Like men and women weren’t equal in the workplace And so good conversations there. That would not have happened if I shut down their opinion right away and went into lecture mode, like I wanted to.
0:21:13 – Speaker 3
And to any grandparents listening, i mean, make a joke about this, your teenage grandkids are gonna laugh, hysterical that you even know what okay boomer is.
0:21:22 – Speaker 2
They’re gonna think you’re amazing, like 10,000 points for you.
0:21:24 – Speaker 3
We have had a lot of fun with this at our family. So joke about that. So I think with everything that we because old Mandy, old parents normally say the okay, boomer, generally- Yes, Here I am stereo, tell you that, But typically what we would say was don’t disrespect Yeah you don’t understand. We just go into that where we’re getting defensive and we need to be the adult here and bring the walls down and describe what’s going on behind, And it’s hard to be the adult. it is.
It’s tiring sometimes And I you know at the end of the day, i think this is an important lesson on stereotypes, in teaching your kids to learn different perspectives, but then also realizing that the only truth that can be applied to every situation is God’s word. It is the same past, present and future. He does not change, he does not waver right, and so I mean he’s been treating men and women equal since the beginning of time. Yes, sister, right, and we’re just taking a minute to catch up. There’s so many Bible verses. There’s one that says don’t look down on young people. There’s one that talks about gray hairs being wisdom. There’s wisdom to be found in every generation. There’s things to be learned from each other, and I think that when we see it from God’s perspective and how everybody brings a piece of information to the table, we automatically respect where they come from and what they’re thinking.
0:22:54 – Speaker 2
Well, that’s the piece here that we’re trying to get at is, if you don’t shut down communication with your kid, you know, especially as they get older and they have more opinions and they’re becoming more independent if you don’t shut it down, you get to have that space with them, you get to point them to Jesus, you get to have that conversation about everybody having input and something being brought to the table. But so often I think parents get fearful of going there in those deep conversations or they get fearful that their kid is being judgmental or going down the wrong path, and so they shut things down and go into lecture mode, and so you never get to that place where you have the conversations that really show God’s heart and really show how everyone has something to offer. And so I think this is such a good reminder no matter what the age of your kid is, if you can see their perspective and teach them to see others, then you get to have those conversations that are truly life-changing.
0:23:44 – Speaker 3
Well, and like the conversations you’re having right now, the seeds you’re planting, even though your kids aren’t on social media yet. Man, when you get there, you can go back and reference some of these conversations.
Yes, i hope so, And so building that foundation is so important. You know, like, just when they hear little things that sound like, oh, a t-shirt, that needs to be on a t-shirt, those are the things you need to pipe up and be like okay, is it truth? Like is that what God really wants us to say here, or can that be dismissive, can that be harmful, can that hurt relationships? I mean all those things we need to ask ourselves as our kids navigate this online world.
0:24:24 – Speaker 2
So a couple of different things we want to leave you with today. Be in their online world, know what’s trending on social media, like okay, boomer, i didn’t know necessarily, but you can always come to nextTalk and we’ll help you with those things.
0:24:39 – Speaker 3
We got a lot of heads up parents over here that are helping each other.
0:24:44 – Speaker 2
Yes, Don’t allow hashtags or memes on social media to distort your thought process. And again, we talked a lot about this with teenagers, but it starts with us. How many times have we seen something like what Or?
0:24:54 – Speaker 3
I totally get that. We’re all guilty of like repeating a hashtag and we’re like as if it’s truth. And we don’t even know how it’s being used, sometimes Absolutely, because it just sounds cute.
0:25:05 – Speaker 2
We do that. I’ve done it so many times.
0:25:06 – Speaker 3
We’ve all been guilty.
0:25:08 – Speaker 2
And then teach your kids that only God’s truth can be applied to all situations. Social media does not equal truth.
0:25:16 – Speaker 3
And remember those Bible verses about gray hair and wisdom and don’t look down on kids because they’re young. I mean those show us right there that God sees both sides of the spectrum. He sees everyone and everyone has value and has something to contribute to the conversation.
0:25:33 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630, 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