The Lies

Image result for little kid on internet

I had the most interesting conversation with my oldest grandson recently.  We were discussing school and goals.  He is under the impression that having a YouTube page and followers is a career goal.  So I challenged him to give me specific examples of this actually working.

He cited some 17 year old boy that “quit high school, has a bunch of followers, and is making millions.  He even bought his mom a new house.”  Hmm…really?  I countered with, “but how do you KNOW he’s really making millions?”  To which he replied, “because his mom said so.”  Hmmm…this was heading down an interesting road.  I said, “you don’t think his mom would say anything to help his rating?”  And then the statement I feared, “Mom’s don’t lie!”  Wow…where to go…”Need I remind you of the Santa Claus incident?”  Yes, I went there!

Now, this is not the first time I have heard this line of thinking.  We have seniors writing senior papers about this career goal.  So I will concede that there are people with enough internet followers that they are making SOME money.  But millions?  In actual money…like money you could pay the bills with…not free stuff?

Our next step was for me to “walk down this road” with him.  So I said, “let’s assume that there is someone making millions with a YouTube channel.  What specifically could you offer that isn’t already out there?”  He said, “I want to make a YouTube channel of me playing my video games.”  Hmmm….next problem.  These kids really believe that they can make millions playing a game.  I stated that this was already done.  He needed something unique…not eating Tide Pods…not doing stupid stuff…but a real unique “need” for the world.  I even gave real solutions…find a math problem you yourself couldn’t solve and show how to solve it…find a real world problem and find a solution…something actually useful.

I know that media is the best babysitter ever…I get it!  I totally get it!   Matter of fact, I’m a little jealous it wasn’t around when I raised my own children.  And I’ve witnessed the on-off switch that happens when a child is handed the cell phone.  It’s magic!  So it’s no wonder that kids are enamored with the hopes of finding eternal “magic” and career possibilities with this “thing” that can make you millions without any real work.

And if you haven’t watched kids “watch” media these days, you’re missing the boat.  They are no longer interested in movies and music.  They want to watch real people doing real things…for hours!  Media is changing so quickly and so are our kids.  The things we feared on the Internet 10 years ago are no longer of interest to our kids.  They’re in awe of fellow teens doing stupid stuff.  Once again, I don’t know the answer to this dilemma…I just know that it is one.  And if you think you’re kids aren’t part of this…what did Santa bring you last year?

 

Music and memories

The Facebook feed was Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” and the memories flooded back. Recently divorced, starting over (again), a young son (who’s about to be 30), and a man that probably loved me more than I could ever return…and it was as real as yesterday.  I can still feel his fingers as they reached across the backseat of the  truck and up under my hair as Whitley’s words seared in my brain for what is evidently going to be a lifetime. My lifetime.

I wonder if songwriters know…really know…the lifetime mark they leave on us?  And how amazing the brain is…that a single line of a song can elicit such a deep, primal response?

A very old boyfriend (not him…just a long time ago) reminded me tonight that hindsight is a bitch. How many loves have I thrown to the curb on  a whim?  More than I care to admit. But the music always takes me back to that moment when the relationship had such promise…or when it was falling apart and I just couldn’t swallow my pride and be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is a concession I’ve had to be diligent about recognizing and practicing in my old age. It’s that place where music finds us…and transforms us…and imprints us for life.

Elvis Presley’s, “In The Ghetto“…small town Tennessee…pre-teen…I remember how haunting it was. It still is 40 years later.

Hello Darlin” by Conway Twitty…the ring back on a phone from a man I loved so deeply and yet failed at miserably.

Then there were the Colorado years. Melissa Etheridge was my go-to CD. I still love her wild abandon attitude. I recently looked for that CD at McKay’s Used Bookstore. When I do find it…those that know me well and for a long time…know I will be riding to the lake, windows down, music cranked up, and remembering those years of my own wild abandon.

Ah, the Jimmy’s era!  Great friends and so much fun we didn’t realize we were having the time of our lives. To this day if “That Summer” by Garth Brooks comes on, I crank it up and the smile of nostalgia couldn’t be restrained even if I wanted it to be.

Music is solace…a place to reflect…a place to let the light creep through the cracks in your soul…and sear your heart forever. Proof is in the beginning chord that washes over you and transforms you to time and place.

With the thought that music is really bottling the memories, I’m choosing to make better music choices. Recently, a friend and I saw the movie, “The Shack,” and the soundtrack moved me such that I ordered the CD. And then I discovered Hillsong United. Wow!  Now THAT is a bottle I want on my life shelf.