I’m actually a teenager myself (15 years old) and I find it incredibly fascinating to think about the ways that technology and social media have shaped my generation’s social interactions and relationships. I can give it a shot to answer some of these questions and share a little bit of my experiences.
I would have to say for question 1 - my parents are quite concerned about technology related to teens, and a majority of it is by seeing how long we are on our devices and how dependent we are. They also are really worried that being on technology all the time makes us a lot more disconnected from everyone, and it makes us less willing to listen and be patient. I’ve noticed a lot of these concerns because I see it in my younger brother, who is 12 years old and constantly playing video games.
2 - Technology has impacted our social behavior as teens hugely, especially because we’ve grown up with this and it seems like such a fundamental part of life! Most of my peers have been on social media since middle school, and it’s such a big change in the way people socialize. A lot of the conversations and bonding moments happen over text and facetime, and I’ve seen this happen with some of my friends. We’re very reliant on group chats and different groups online to keep us connected to things. There’s are huge dynamics at play on social media, constantly, that make up a big part of social life as a teenager. Each different app (snapchat, instagram, twitter, imessage, etc.) has a different connotation and purpose for different things, even multiple things. People are a lot more open and honest on their private, seperate accounts, like finstas and private snapchat stories. People are probably more honest on those posts than they are even in real life, and it’s kind of strange to sees both sides of that. I feel like in my experiences people don’t really connect that deeply, and it’s so common to be hanging out and having people on their phones at the same time. People bond over looking at their phones and sharing things they’ve found on their social media and laughing about things like that. It’s not like we as teens don’t notice these influences too. In my friend groups, we tend to have our phones away most of the time when we’re hanging out, and we talk about this and we do notice a lot how creepy it is sometimes to see everyone staring away on their own devices. There’s honestly so much more I could say about this but I’m going to stop myself there.
A little bit on question 3 - I feel like with my parents, our relationship exists fundamentally outside of technology and we have a strong bond. It feels weird sometimes to be texting and on social media with my parents. I probably spend less time just being there with them, because I’m probably in my room on my laptop or my phone more often, but the relationships are still strong and we do make the effort to put our phones away and just spend time together.
Question 4 I mostly touched on earlier, and question 5 I don’t really have an idea about because I’m not a parent.
I hope these answers were of any interest to your project, and feel free to ask any other questions you may have!