We are experiencing the advent of a generation of youth who will grow up lacking the skill of interpreting the other 90% of communication which doesn't involve words or speech.
Things like facial expressions (which emoticons are supposed to represent), body language, pitch of voice, inflection, volume (sometimes capital letters in typed communication), or even gestures add meaning to communication.
When setting up for a live video stream of a rehearsal for Spencer Kane's summer tour in the studio at Remedy Live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he and I took a break to talk to the Director of Operations there.
She was newly hired to handle day-to-day management of the facility and staff, but also engage in the anonymous chat conversations between the staff of Remedy and teens facing crisis.
These youth are being deprived of learning how to interact in the most basic and primal method our ancestors have passed along for thousands of years.
I'm addressing it from my own experience and observations of the hundreds of thousands of teen posts I've read the past three years.
They are able to keep searching for connection with potential friends when the their local limitations yield none to their satisfaction. In another light, it shrinks the world in which we live and makes it possible for them to share in life's journey with someone who better understands them and is less judgmental. This provides a powerful psychological temptation to trust this online platform as a safe haven from the rejection they face offline from family members to school mates to fellow hobby participants.
The need for acceptance is an addictive drug that escalates the need for a better smartphone, more apps to use, faster Internet, and the sometimes annoying fingertapping keys at the dinner table.
However, I'm still limited by the few channels of social media we've chosen to use for Spencer's public promotion and fan connection; Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Ask.fm, Vine, and Instagram.
The Need for Acceptance One thing for certain is that most of the teens I've observed online have a seemingly unquenchable need for acceptance among their peers and social media allows them the ability to extend their net of search beyond their classroom walls and neighborhood streets. Social media provides a platform whereby teens can categorize their friends into groups of likemindedness so they feel less alone.One such conversation entailed an anonymous teen girl who was describing her dilemma of how to handle a dating relationship with a boy that troubled her.