Keeping Up With Youth Websites

Even if you’re a techno-saur, it’s important to try to keep tabs on what the kids are finding popular on the web.  In this particular case, Eldest shared a new iPod app for a site that she finds hilarious. is an ongoing compendium of very recent text messages submitted by people who find them particularly humorous or interesting.  It’s popularity is noted by the banner promoting their new iPod app as well as the announcement that their new book will be issued next week. is a site devoted to real-time entries made by those who are stoned.  I came of age in the late 1970s/early 1980s and have too vivid recollections of stoner humor and commentary, so I find it tiresome and banal; per Eldest, her friends find it humorous.

So why do I try to keep tabs on these things? 

  • It gives me a snapshot of what’s going on with the Youth Culture and what my own child, now a teen, is seeing and what she knows.
  • It presents me with the opportunity to evaluate what I need to speak about.  When the kids become teenagers, your authority is still existant on some issues, but much of it derives from moral authority.  If we want to raise children who can handle the world, then we have to accept that there are things with which they will come into contact and the best hope comes from knowing what’s out there and speaking to it.  Talking without sermonising is a difficult thing, but the attempts have to be made.
  • If my child wants to share this with me, I will try to accept the experience and not create barriers to future offerings.  There are certainly exceptions, as with vulgarities and violence, but I otherwise try to keep my surprise in check.

What will I try to use as talking points with Eldest in the next several days?

  • That unlike conversation, electronic texting is permanent and is liable to end up in the unlikeliest and most uncomfortable places.  Be thoughtful with your posts.
  • That there is nothing glamorous or especially hilarious about stoner humor, and that marijuana is indeed a gateway drug for many people.  In keeping with the first point, do you want posterity – or your parents – to read you when you’re stoned?

We will come back to these conversations in the next several days and I’ll make every effort to remember the difference between injecting a moral tone and sermonizing.

Wish me luck.

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