I pray I don’t have a daughter.
Not that I wouldn’t love the child with my entire being, it’s just that I can’t fathom raising a daughter in 2018. I imagine the young years of she life being so fulfilling, but that’s where it stops. Sure, I would feel so lucky to be a parent in this day and age, with all the technological and advancement, and the resources parents have that tip of their fingers is remarkable. I don’t take that lightly at all. I could maybe hold it all together until the child reached the age of 10, but after that, I give up. I just don’t think I could stomach watching my daughter go through all those awkward years of adolescence. The pressure of social media is vicious.
I grew up in a world where we connected to the internet via 14.4k modems. It was the dark ages of the web, you might say. The bright side of things were Email, ICQ, and MSN chat growing up. The early days of online porn slowly started to make their presence felt too. Although, the pictures revealed themselves to you at such slow rate, often male adolescents would revert back to old trying times, satisfying themselves through the lingerie section of a Sears catalogue. Sorry lads, the cats out of the bag now.
I was part of the last generation who managed to sneak through high school, and University for that matter, unscathed by the likes of social media. We reached the pinnacle of online highs from late night gossip filled MSN chat. We lived in a more civilized time, where men and women were sold fixes for their insecurities through the pages of magazines. It was a time where television rarely had foul language on it, and rarely did you find woman having conversations about the squat rack, not to mention that thong bathing suits were considered faux pas. The 20 year olds out there today probably look back out our generation and think we were all prudes. Let me assure you, we were far from Puritans. You wouldn’t believe it, but, some looked at us as the liberated generation. Not as liberated as those pot-smoking hippies of the 60’s, but still quite far-out there, ya dig?
Fast-forward to 2018, we now live in a era where revealing oneself entirely to the world has become the norm. Even my open-minded leftist parents wouldn’t have approved. They would have gently persuaded me and my friends not to hang out with the likes of those who “whore themselves out” like that. Today, those same parents would be ostracized as slut-shamers for even remotely thinking that way, let alone vocalizing the notion.
I have to say, my mind is totally boggled when it comes to thinking of what has become socially acceptable. I was raised to believe that regularly encouraging woman to pose for sexually suggestive photos would contribute to their objectification. Millions of woman fought this sort of thing for years and years as the equality movement took hold.
Reading this may strike some chord of discomfort in you, but please temporarily suspend your disbelief for just a second. Let’s review the facts. Take a look at the largest following accounts on Instagram. Then scan through their pictures. Which photos seem to have accumulated the most ‘likes’? You might be deeply saddened to see the staggering numbers. Remember, this is binary. Followers, likes, and comments are binary. In-turn, these leading ladies only enable others to follow suit. The problem is, a lot of these individuals who follow suit are very young and impressionable. The image these influencers choose to take and showcase have a far deeper impact on the world than you probably consider. The highly sought after ‘likes’ and followers people chase after come at a cost.
My innocence as a child was highly protected, even though I didn’t come to this realization until much later in life, but will I be able to provide my children the same service and care? This sun-up to sun-down marketing, that takes place on social media is a super-sized Goliath parents attempt to tackle. Maybe even David himself couldn’t have slain this beast alone.
Call me old-fashioned, but the idea of raising a child who will unconsciously be encouraged to reveal their barely covered ass to the world through a bathroom selfie, makes me feel ill. Then again, maybe we’ll be able to move to mars by the time my daughter comes. They don’t have cell service there yet, do they?