Social Media: Taking over the summer

Social media is taking children’s summers; not even the beach is safe from this digital drug.

5 min readMay 2, 2024

When you go to the beach this summer, you will see people doing a whole host of things: sunbathing, swimming, playing sports, reading a good book, writing, drawing, playing in the sand, etc. But more and more, you will see young children not playing in the water, swimming, snorkelling, throwing a ball around, flying a kite or exploring. Instead, they will be glued to their mobile devices as they record dances for social media, looking down at their devices, not up, not playing or extracting as much out of the day as possible. You will also see parents caving to their children’s demands, handing them electronic devices left, right and centre to appease them as they try to enjoy their day in the sun with their friends.

Summer has arrived

I live in the South of France, and as of last weekend, the weather down here has become very summery; the beaches are already filling up with people left, right and centre. When I saw what I wrote in the introduction, I was relaxing on the beach, soaking up the sun, drinking my coffee, and listening to a good book on Audible, when I spotted a group of young girls no older than 10–12 recording one of those silly “TikTok” dances for social media, not too far from me.

Electronic drips

I don’t mean to sound like a grumpy old man; I will admit that I am closing on 38 years of age, and my hair is thinning, so I definitely feel old, but I am by no means a “grumpy old man.” But I thought it was crazy; here, these young kids are running around with large smartphones, putting their lives online for everyone to see when I was that age. I wasn’t permanently attached to an electronic device.

“I wasn’t hooked up to an electronic drip sharing my life on the internet, getting microdoses of dopamine from every like, view and comment.”

I was playing with my friends, exploring, having fun and getting up to all kinds of mischief without a care in the world whilst being chased after by my mother with a bottle of factor 50 sunblock in her hands. There is so much fun to be had by simply playing on the beach with your friends. You create memories that last a lifetime instead of viewing everything through a 6-inch smartphone screen.

Parents be responsible

I hate to say it, but this comes down to the parents giving in to their children’s demands for iPads, phones and other electronic devices. As far as I am concerned, the only acceptable device for a child to have on the beach is a Kindle. Children should be exercising their minds or getting rid of their seemingly endless amounts of energy. Not getting hooked on the virtual drugs and digital sugar rushes that come from digital screens.

My past as a nightmare child

I can fully understand why parents do give in because they don’t want to have an upset child that’s complaining, crying and having a fit because they aren’t getting what they want. Take it from someone who was a nightmare child who had a first-generation Game Boy that he loved. When I was outside with family or friends, it got taken away from me and locked in the car. Trust me, I wasn’t happy about it, but I got over it after about 5–10 minutes (if not longer…much longer) of realising that I wasn’t going to get my way. No matter what I did or how much I stamped my feet in complaint. It requires parents to have a backbone and back up their threats if push comes to shove it might require taking their ruinous child away from the beach and keeping them off their electronic device for the rest of the holiday.

Scary Situation

Eventually, some friends joined me and we spoke on the matter as they too, saw it and were equally as appalled as I. We all agreed how scary the current situation is. Young children these days can’t be without a virtual nanny unless they are sleeping, which eventually becomes an addiction that they will never be able to put down.

Give children unsmart devices

Parents, please don’t buy your children one of the latest smartphones for around €700-€1,000, which is silly as most children will break, misplace, lose or have them stolen. Instead, get them a new Nokia phone for €75 with 4G internet that doesn’t have a touchscreen; instead, it has buttons that will take them forever to send a text message. They won’t be able to waste their time on the internet; it will also make the lives of online predators that much harder. The best way to avoid this is to go old school and get them a device that allows them to talk, text and send the odd email. They don’t need to be plugged into social media 24/7; they should be living their childhood doing things they won’t be asked about in their job interview in ten years. Check out TheMrNokia’s review of one such device by clicking the link below.

Dangers of the internet

As we all know, the online space can be incredibly dangerous for people of any age, but the young are the ones most at risk. It can be a hunting ground for paedophiles, child traffickers, scam artists and a whole host of disgusting characters that want to influence children in nefarious ways.

My generation

When I was growing up back in the 2000s, we had phones but fewer channels and zero social media. It doesn’t mean that my generation wasn’t any less connected or out of touch, partly due to phones having a week of battery life. We had to remember phone numbers in case we needed to call our parents or friends in case our phones died. Even with this, I will say the generation I grew up in was less depressed, much happier, far more physically active and knew more about the world we lived in. My generation actually read newspapers, magazines, and books and didn’t scroll for hours on apps designed to take over our lives.

This little rant of mine

Thank you for reading this little rant of mine as I, once again, felt compelled to address the scary state of the world that we are in and how much technology continues to infiltrate our lives. What’s more frightening still is the hold technology and social media have over the young, those who are just entering their teenage years and don’t know how dangerous the virtual world can be. If this is a topic you want me to continue and advance this debate, please let me know in the comments section and have a nice day.




A Gentleman Writer by name A Gentleman who Writes by nature so come and explore the world through my eyes and words. Blogger with a unique view on the world.