There is a thought process that comes from Millennials that we are better off as parents than our parents’ generation. I don’t know that I buy into that thought process at all. We have so much information at our fingertips at all times of the day where as our parents could only go off what their parents did, trial and error, or the least common practice of going to the library to check out books that were rarely up to date. I don’t know that I subscribe to that line of thought; I mean we survived pretty well!
The biggest problem with parents today is with the massive amount of information online, so many people don’t know what to believe and only research things to fall in line with their beliefs. This is an extreme example, but a parent that doesn’t like seat belts may research and find examples of how people were saved in car accidents because of not wearing their seat belts even though it is common sense to know they are a lot better for you than they will harm you. The quality of sources online seems to be getting worse and worse and I was lucky to have finished college in the internet era and I know how to find a scholarly and unbiased source to be able to know the difference between real research and someone stating their idiotic opinion. Everyone has a voice online (obviously since I have a blog) and it is difficult to separate these voices.
There have been countless times that people with a voice have actually cited the Onion as a reference. Don’t we remember when the FIFA executive cited the Onion and how they created a 2015 World Cup to distract the world from all of the FIFA scandals, well he wasn’t alone and here are a few links to keep us all amused (http://abcnews.go.com/International/times-people-fooled-onion/story?id=31444478)( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/fooled-by-the-onion_n_1912413.html ). I even posted an article a few years ago on social media from the duffel blog, which is a military version of the onion and there was legit outrage about something that was completely ridiculous and proves that so many people believe what they read without fact checking or even using their common sense.
The other issue with all of this information is the fact that everyone has a camera in their pocket, access to post and the want to “go viral”. This day and age of evolving information and access, sifting through the BS can be so daunting but we need to be vigilant! When posting an article or citing a reference, you should fact check and do the research as if it was the person running against your candidate for POTUS was saying it; I’ve seen all of your political posts and how terrible that person was and how you would go to the end of the earth to prove their phoniness, well use that same level of research in your parenting research.
We need to stop spreading half-truths and keep an open mind to other parent’s perspectives. I learned something very interesting recently that should be shared. Don’t give advice to anyone! It is OK to share your experiences with others and what you wish you could have done differently, but it is accepted much better from others when they aren’t being told what to do but instead listening to a story. We can improve this, let’s come together and make the interwebs a better place for parents to go for stories and experiences that may help them with their own issues.
Stay strong and vigilant out there dads!
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