Skrillex is one of the biggest names in electronic music right now. He plays sold out shows across the planet, recently won a bunch of Grammys and has a Facebook fan page that adds 300,000 new fans each week.
His sound is based on the magic he’s able to make with a Macbook and a billion digital files. Knowing his penchant for all things electronic, he’s the last person you’d expect to throw a flag of caution about how much we all use our cellphones. And yet …
This is what Skrillex recently said to a group of people at one his shows as reported by Rolling Stone magazine:
“Screw your camera phone!” He urged the crowd. “You can’t party through a screen. Put your phones away!”
His point was simple.
“Don’t try to experience the party through your cell phone just so you can document it to show people later that you were there. Just be there.”
You can’t party through a screen. I think that’s true, and it made me wonder, “What other things can’t you do through a screen?”
Can you parent through a screen?
That’s the temptation to me right now. I like sharing the funny things my kids do and say. I occasionally write about them or tweet about them, but I’m beginning to wonder, to what consequence?
And I’m not saying blogging about your kids or tweeting about them is a bad thing, but there’s a difference between “in the moment” and “after the moment” sharing.
In the moment is me essentially live tweeting something that is happening to my family. After the moment is me writing when my family is asleep and I’m reflecting on something we experienced.
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, never mention your kids on line or document every breath they take on Facebook, there’s one thing we can agree to.
We don’t know the consequences of social media for kids yet.
We don’t have 100 years of precendent to look back at. We don’t know what it does to a 7-year-old when you stop throwing a baseball with them so you can document the moment for strangers. We don’t know what it does to a 5-year-old when you say “Pause right there for a second, this is great for instagram.” But we do know it does something. Every action does something.
I am not done with this idea. I’m only 8 years into being a parent and even less experienced at social media. I’ve got a lot to learn. There are so many things I don’t know and I think ultimately it’s a balancing act. But it’s one I want to figure out because if I don’t, some day my kids are going to sit on a counselor’s couch and say that their biggest memory of me was of the glow of a iPhone on my forehead.
Do you ever find it challenging to keep your social media usage in check?