Remember last year, when Kanye West told us to listen to the kids?
Well, do the kids listen to Kanye? And if they do, Yeezy, would it be possible for you to tell the kids that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to dating?
When I was 15 years old, I was highly impressionable and therefore would take as gospel truth what I would see on Social Media and on TV. Well, unfortunately for me, 15 is the age at which I joined Facebook; also, this period of my life coincided with the release of The Vampire Diaries, a TV show which would go on to have the whole lot of us at its mercy; and by us I am referring to an entire nation of teenagers with access to a DVD vendor. Therefore, you can imagine the number of theories I accepted as truth when I would follow the advice of at least 100 Facebook pages dishing out what they deemed as important relationship advice, which in reality were as deep as a puddle of water. They had the most superficial descriptions of how love and relationships should be; and if you couple that with The Vampire Diaries, a series which initially propagated the idea that loving a woman for a lifetime (literally) despite her having taken advantage of you to get what she wants is the right thing to do…a highly impressionable mind does not stand a chance. Slowly these notions are going to be taken up by the subconscious mind and they will be perceived as truths. Yes, shallow and fake-deep theories about love and relationships will influence that child’s thinking well into their future. Well, of course, unless the world teaches them otherwise through heartbreak; something which can be attributed as the most common reason for why people snap out of the fairy-tales playing in their minds, to face the realities of love and relationships.
This post does not intend to victimize the people who have been subjected to this in their early and late teen ages…it could have happened to anybody, right? Besides, we do not get to choose how impressionable our minds should be.
(Also, it would be quite rich of me to paint this in a bad light, given that I suffered from this more than the average teenager did 😀 )
The more time you spend on Tumblr, the more you realize that the same lies you were subjected to years ago are still there, only this time they are disguised in bigger words with more attractive fonts, black and white edits of photographs taken by very powerful cameras, and moving images commonly referred to as ‘gifs’; I was going to say that the lies are back, but they never left. They are just bigger than ever, and this time they have the power to influence even the most unimpressionable of minds.
Tumblr, if used well, can be a very instrumental tool for learning, blogging and curating content; but for the most part it has been used to propagate ‘relationship goals’ which can pass for almost anything nowadays, such as “when you walk into the house and she’s holding a slice of pizza in one hand, a bottle of beer in the other hand, wearing nothing but a sports bra and booty shorts while playing FIFA, #relationshipgoals, #wifegoals”; Do you notice something fundamentally wrong with each of the above goals?
I’m aware of the fact that I sound like a grumpy old man who just won’t let the kids love in the best way they know how, but it is actually the opposite. Love is a beautiful thing, something I embrace open-heartedly. I love love. It is amazing and something which every single person should easily experience should they want to experience it. I am also aware of the fact that mistakes have to be made at some point in order for us and for the kids to learn, but what if we can avoid them?
The kids need to know that romanticizing the simplest of things will not make love and relationships easier. They need to understand that before we are lovers, we are all human beings with different characters and personalities; the maturity to understand these characters should give rise to the decision whether we are comfortable with being with people of these personalities, and whether we would be willing to compromise a few of our beliefs to accommodate the person that we are with. The kids also need to know that life comes at you fast, and that temptations are abound; temptations can be romanticized all they want but once one of the people in the relationship falls into temptation, there will be no romanticizing. And even if there is, no amount of romanticizing can fix the fact that our significant other broke our trust. Understanding this fact about life, human characters and relationships would equip the kids better in being able to deal with the trials and tribulations associated with relationships.
Some of these relationships badly lose track of time, and it would be most unfortunate to have wasted a good number of years trying to make something with someone work, while in reality it was built on, for lack of a better word, an ‘unsound foundation of theories about love and relationships’.
And it is because of all this that I’d like to know: who do the kids listen to?