By Jenn Riggle
Music soothes the savage beast – and my pre-teen daughter.
As the mom of two tween girls, ages 9 and 11, there’s always a lot of drama in my house. My youngest is a Chatty Cathy with an opinion on everything, while my oldest is a woman of few words – just eye rolls, sighs and one-word sentences. Most of the time, you find her in her room with her nose in a book or on YouTube watching music videos.
However, the one topic she’s always willing to talk about is music and what songs she wants to add to her iPod.
So we’ve become an iPod family. I spend a lot of time on iTunes and have gotten the hang of coordinating multiple playlists, one for each member of the family. My youngest is a Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift fan while my oldest listens to Panic! At The Disco, Green Day and Daughtry. My job is to keep everyone’s music separate (heaven forbid my oldest listen to a Kelly Clarkson song) – and then I add their music to my iPod so I know what they’re listening to.
And it appears that my kids are not alone in their early adoption of technology. Media giant Disney just completed a survey of 3,000 European tweens (ages 8 to 14) and have dubbed this group Generation XD, the digital children of Generation X (cute name, but I’m not sure it’ll stick).
The research found these kids are very comfortable using computers and playing videogames, but still value face-to-face interactions:
- 95% feel that the Internet and computers are important to them
- Face-to-face contact is still the preferred way to meet up with friends (30%) above texting (15%), online chat (14%) and mobile (8%)
- 55% feel the Internet improves their life by helping them talk to their friends outside of school
- Homework (59%) scores second only to gaming (74%) for the most common uses of the Internet
And while I have to admit, I don’t like all of my daughter’s music, she’s always excited when I knowingly bob my head when one of her favorite song comes on the radio. In turn, she’s gaining a new appreciation for older music and recently added Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” and The The’s “This is the Day” to her playlist. Of course, it didn’t hurt that M&Ms used the last song in one of their advertisements.
The good news is that we’ve at least found one thing we can talk about.