#RaisingMillennials in this digital age : A thought provoking discussion it was!
YFLO Delhi in collaboration with Ansal University organized a panel discussion on ‘Raising
#Millennials in the #Digital Age’ at Lalit New Delhi on 27th October and I was privileged to attend it. Being an active debater in school and having maintained a special interest in social issues right from college days, I often look forward to such discussions to keep abreast with the changing dynamics of the society, technology, environment and all those factors that affect us everyday. This discussion around millennials caught my interest because even though I do not have kids, I am part of the growing up days of my nephews and nieces. I often see my friends struggling to keep pace with their children and I know it is not easy to work with this young, energetic and impatient lot.
The panelists of the session were Ms. Ankhi Das (Public Policy Director, Facebook, India), Ms. Kallie Puri (Group Editorial Director, India Today), Mr. Saket Modi (Ethical Hacker, Co-founder and CEO of Lucideous), Ms. Vanita Uppal, (OBE Director, British School, New Delhi). The moderator of the discussion was none other than the famous ‘Tech Guru, Rajiv Makhni’.
WHO ARE MILLENNIALS?
This is a new term coined for a generation ‘Y’ that was born between 1982 and 2002. They were clubbed together as one because they were the ones who graduated first in the new millennium. They are blamed to be privileged to be born in this electronics-filled, technologically enriched and socially-
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. ― James Baldwin
WHAT IS SO EASY AND DIFFICULT ABOUT RAISING MILLENNIALS?
Well, if you are a parent who is born in this period, I am sure you know the answer. The energy levels of the generation Y or the kids of this generation is hard to match. And the number of distractions they are born with makes them easily bored despite of ten things to appease them. They know how to handle every gadget on the Earth and they are born geeks literally. How do you help them grow amidst the distractions, how do you react when you see them update Facebook before saying good morning to you or how do you guide them for future when they say they don’t want to take conventional jobs and live a carefree life? There are problems more than just the generation gap. The parents do find it difficult to pace up and keep up to date to the multiple things happening in their kids life. The crux is that it is definitely not a cakewalk to be a parent to this generation which is exposed to a digital storm. You got to handle them with care, collaboration and partnership.
It’s a tough time for
#Millennials to grow up in the age of social media, says Kalli Purie.
WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO?
Parents have to come together to put restrictions, to ensure cyber safety, to help them with adaptability because digital world is here to stay. And most importantly, parents have to be well-informed, they have to be vigilant while they have to help their kids navigate this space which is digitally exciting.
The questions raised in the panel discussion were very relevant. Why do some parents even allow their children to have Facebook accounts when it should not be allowed to children below 13? What they don’t understand is that when few parents allow, they actually put a pressure on the others too. It has to be a collaborative effort by all to take a stand. Another very important point was put forth by Ms. Vanita Uppal (OBE Director, The British School, Delhi) when she said that the key to good parenting in this age is about three important things – collaboration, partnership and balance. We don’t know technology as the millennials do, so we must sit down with them to learn. Communication and dialogue with them should never take a backseat. We should not give them reasons or space to hide things from us. We got to be their friend to know what they are up to. Younger generation will take leadership, we must accept it and move with them.
Ankhi Das ( Public Policy Director, Facebook) said that you can’t deprive them of smartphones or internet or other gadgets. Give it to them. Your role should be to train them and teach them the dangers. You might think that your kid is playing video games but he/she may be inventing one of their own. Millennials are very hard working, though they may look non-serious and casual towards certain things. So we must trust them and let them prove their talent. Give them time. Structure them well. Engage them for multi tasking and they will excel. But at the same time, we have to teach them to use the digital distractions safely and responsibly.
Parents must sit with kids to collaborate, to talk, to learn technology to ensure its safe usage.#RaisingMillennials@AnsalUniversity pic.twitter.com/rdBAEnrNIe
— Pendown (@manjulika5) October 27, 2017
WHAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GENERATION Y?
Technology and digital age is to be blamed because it has brought immediate gratification. Millennials love it. They can’t really do without clicking selfies. There is a pressure on the millennials to look good, to get likes, to be fashionable, to be the best at everything. They are born to handle it all but they go through a lot of stress too. At the same time, they must realize that they are born with a silver spoon. They have the privileges unlike their parents who have toiled to be where they are. Having access to information, an established platform is a big start. It is time that kids realize that they have to make the best of this time and opportunity. Being born in the sea of information, and being surrounded by great ideas, they are expected to use it wisely.
A very genuine and thought provoking question was raised by a 17 year old girl when she said, why do we let social media affect our social esteem? Why can’t we talk to ourselves while facing a mirror?. Why are likes on Facebook telling us the best about us? We are blessed to have been born in the time when we have seen the change of the millennium in literal terms, why can’t we make the best of it.
I wish all kids thought the same! Overall, it was an enriching session. If you have faced such problems, situations with your kids, don’t forget to comment below.