Lot's of parents I talk with have said they've noticed their teens aren't meeting up with friends. One lovely mum with four kids told me there seems to be very little between partying hard with alcohol, vaping, drugs then there's the other 80 percent who're a bit lost because they're seeing that as the only format.
I went for a dog walk the other day and she said she grew up in a house where there were regular parties and lots of chances for her to spend time with her friends, and meet new ones, in a safe environment.
Now, as a parent, we've been through lockdown and lost our appetite for socialising. Either that or we are desperate to party as much as possible for fear of losing the opportunity in the future.
I fear the impact of social media and the chance that things can escalate very quickly, so I've gone from being chief party hoster for my young kids to the one whose kids don't seem to want anyone round. They say they're not embarassed, they're seeing parties that look amazing on Insta, which ups the pressure, or they're seeing teens who're drinking to the point of vomit, vaping and doing drugs. They don't want that sort of socialising either.
Surge in gaming, which is great, but there are important social skills that aren't developed with gaming. We need human contact, warmth, boys grow into men who also need these relationships and once they're gone they have nobody to model emotional connection and discussion about feelings.
My kids are both well-rounded, happy, sociable people but I'm still fishing around for opportunities to link them with others. As a result I'm hosting more bit family events, and have also suggested a cinema club.
I'm not against online. I met my husband there at a time when nobody was using it. I realised that my chance to socialise was very limited starting work at 3am and finishing by lunchtime. So I only met people in the TV studios or at the gym. I decided to spread my net, and now adore the online world. I enjoy my relationships, but the texture of them is completely different and the joy I experience from getting a few mates round to tramp through muddy fields to fireworks is completely different.
Even people on Twitter have said, I love all my online friends but where do I meet real life ones.