We are soon to see the end of 24, LOST, and HEROES only to see at the same time the rise of GLEE.
No doubt these shows have created a “status” reality for every student. If a student is to arrive at school the day following one of these shows and has missed an episode their social status drops. You are able to miss a team practise and still be part of the team, you can miss hanging out at the mall with friends and still be connected, you can miss going to youth group and still know you are valued there. But if you miss watching the show you have no voice the next day with your friends.
We are living in a community where “status” matters and “status” is made clear to everyone. Whether it is on FACEBOOK, MSN, TWITTER or simply in our ability to communicate about today’s pop culture on the spot, we are either being branded with our status level or we are attempting to communicated it others. Making public your status gives you the head start to control your situation and control how you want others to see you. However, more strongly than the status that you create is the status that is bestowed upon you through your “social status”.
In times past our social status has been established through economic means, racial lines, gender, orientation, and other landmarks. Today our social status is being measured by our “connectedness”. This drive toward connectedness is making today’s teens more passionate about establishing an online digital image that represents themselves. This way they are able to gather more “friends” on their FACEBOOK page, be connected to more through online video gaming, and have conversations and interactions through chatrooms or skype with people around the world.
This wireless generation is redefining what it is to be relational and what it is to have social status. I could share more on this, maybe in a another post. But we all need to realize that as we engage with this generation, that they find their status much less in the stuff they have but in the people and the amount of people they are connected to. When we tear down their means of connections, ie. FACEBOOK, TWITTER, online gaming, instant messaging, texting, and all the means of multimedia relay, we are tearing down their very place that is giving them status.
These are roads we need to walk down, there are things as those who work with youth or as parents needs to address, but more so, we need to observe, listen, love, and be careful. How we walk through this areas that connect will either give us the grounds to connect or will leave us totally disconnected with the ones whom we so desire to connect with.