I’ve got two teenage boys. I’m watching their respective growth – physically and in asserting their growing independence – with both awe and concern. My older son has changed his “look” repeatedly all of his teen years, mostly with his hair length and color and cut, but lately he’s added tattoos to the mix. His younger brother has largely asserted his independence by acting independent and a bit defiant.
Recently I had a couple of experiences that reminded me of the folly of thinking we have a great social life if we have a bunch of Facebook, Twitter, and other online friends. Yes, “virtual friends” can be meaningful, but nothing trumps meeting and knowing people IRL, aka in real life. In Real Life means face to face, sitting near one another, interacting in real time, and otherwise being a human being. Yes, it’s alien to many of us – especially our kids – but it brings rewards that can’t be calculated by Klout or the number of “likes” or so-called “followers” you might have.