I am really worried about young people right now. The impact of restrictions, national lockdowns, being unable to see their friends and families and not really being able to date either is causing innumerable problems for their mental health and wellbeing. Those who are subjected to the massive pitfalls of having their every move played out on the internet, in order to be popular and liked by complete strangers often disguised as wolves in sheep’s clothing, don't realise this type of social anxiety over a long period of time erodes the natural confidence that comes from exploration and achievement and can have devastating unnecessary consequences. The internet is a great place to hide for anyone stalking, picking on, bullying which makes this behaviour particularly difficult to isolate and stop unless the victim is brave and disciplined enough to delete their profile and switch off their phone immediately when an attact starts. Trolls want your reaction not your silence.
When I read almost every day in the media, stories about teenagers hanging themselves because they are victims of cyber bulling, it makes my blood boil and my fighting back spirit rear.
I often get the chance through my free coaching to give talks and mentoring workshops in schools to teenagers about confidence building and how to climb the ladder to a successful, happy adult life and often I am astounded by how much time they spend worrying about what others think of them. It is common sense to agree that if you spend your life worrying about others, you will ultimately forget who you really are and what you really need to blossom.
If young people are to become grounded, positive, happy adults, they have to be able to live and flourish in the real world, spending as little time as possible on the net, blowing a trumpet of who they wish they could be in real life, if only. I have studied the world of social networking and it is great for building a brand and a following but if you are hoping to be spotted and elevated because 10,000 people say they like you, when they don’t even know you, you will be disappointed.
My students tell me everyone is out to talk about themselves, indulge in narcissistic selfies whilst criticizing every personal imperfection that does not, in their over inflated opinion, suit them. When young boys are learning about sex from paid porn stars who make making love look more like a free for all where anything goes and no one ever complains it's not surprising their relationships with young women and their expectations are skewed.
In this behaviour both sexes are unimpressed with normal breasts which, unlike porn stars' silicone-boosted chests are inferior and then all of a sudden the need for surgery becomes an obsessive need for the girl and an essential attribute for the boys pleasure.
Young women need to understand what they have naturally is very sought after by the opposite sex, regardless of how much a boy might put them down, looking like Jordon or not, so keep on your knickers girls, say no thanks and switch off your phone.
My best advice for parents is keep screen time down to a minimum from the off, once anyone is addicted it's much harder to break the habit and for any young person, the excitement and motivation to impress for a male is always in the chase and not the conquering, so ladies it's up to us to always stand still in a river and let the idiots float by because you’re too busy enjoying yourself without any need for a boy unless he makes life better. And for the boys, if you want the best you gotta be the best for real and not just have a set of veneers and social media six pack. Every boy is fighting for the one girl no one can pin down so to get her don't follow the pack on social media raise your game in real life.
Photo by: ian dooley Unsplash