The Single Father's Blog

Real Talk…From A Real Dad…On Real Life

Students, Sex, and The Social Networks

I saw this picture floating around twitter a few days ago and I was
shocked! I wasn’t necessarily shocked by the picture itself, but more
so by what people were saying about the picture. Instead of being
outraged by the sight of seven seemingly teenage pregnant black girls
smiling and posing for a picture together folks were soliciting their
followers to “add a caption” to the picture. Now I can’t even front,
the first caption that came to my mind was “where in the HELL are
these girl’s fathers”.  Not only do they seem to be underage and
pregnant, but they are flaunting it all over social networks for the
world to see. If any of them were my child I probably would have lost
my mind the minute this picture came across my screen.

We live in a society where social media has easily become the fastest
growing form of communication that has ever been invented. It’s
instant gratification. We get to see what we want when we want it and
in turn we can give out details about our own lives in the same
manner. People everywhere want to experience some sort of social
networking, whether it be via sites like Facebook and Twitter or
through mobile cell phone applications like instagram and video viewing sites.
The fact is that social media has taken over our world and it is here to
stay. But just like any other form of technology, it has easily been
taken from a meaningful idea to change the world and turned into a
means for society’s ills to be further exposed. Just like anything
else, when you put social media in the hands of someone who is not
mentally equipped to handle it there will be questionable judgement
and there will be instances where people will just flat out do things
that make you say “What the F*&%”

It’s no secret that teenage pregnancy is a problem in our country.
Teenagers are having sex and making babies at an alarming rate. Teen
pregnancy has even become a factor in pop culture because of shows
like “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” that air regularly on cable
television. According to the CDC 410,000 teenage girls, ages 15 to
19 gave birth in 2009 which was a 37 % decrease from where it was 20
years ago. Even though the rate of teenage births has declined our
society has changed and I would even step out and say that teenagers
now aren’t even as mature as teenagers of the same age group twenty
years ago. But aside from the differences in maturity I think the
question that needs to be raised that couldn’t have been raised in
1991 is what role is social media playing in how our children are
educated about sex and handling sexually related issues. It’s obvious
that our society is much more sexually open and thanks to the media we
have more sexual images, lyrics and inferences in our every day life
then we could have ever imagined possible. When I was growing up you
couldn’t see two people of the same sex kissing on television. Overt
sexual references were still a bit taboo. I remember when people were
shocked that the group TLC would promote safe sex by performing with
condoms on their clothes. These days you see same sex couples
kissing on TV, hear songs about women wetting their bed on the radio,
and constantly get solicitations for online dating services and chat
lines with hot girls/guys while on the internet. All of these things
indicate that times have changed. Since the times have changed so
drastically over the last 20 years, I can only believe that the way that we
are talking to our children needs to change. We have to get
a better understanding of who these kids are under this newly
created social network climate.

By looking at the picture above it’s obvious to me that these young
ladies think that being pregnant at such a young age is cool.
Obviously they haven’t grasped the idea that the act of child birth
is actually dangerous, or the hard work and dedication that it takes
to raise a child. Not to mention the financial strains that are added
to your life once your child is born. As a father of a seven year old
girl it pains me to see our young girls portraying themselves in this
manner and I think it is up to us to make sure that they know that
things like this aren’t acceptable. It’s not alright to be pregnant
at a young age, and most importantly they need to think of the
consequences that their actions will have later on in life.

The world wide web is just that…A web of information that spans across
the entire world. And as fast as information travels these days I’m
sure that this picture could easily cross the desk of someone from a
college admissions department or an employer that may be looking to
hire in the future and the window of opportunity for bettering
themselves could instantly be closed simply based on the perception of
one snapshot.

One of the most important things that any parent can do for their
child is to instill a sense of self esteem and self worth. Too many
of our young girls don’t value their body. They think that it is okay
to let young men have their way with them simply because that is what
they see happening on TV. We are living in a world where websites and
TV shows allow women to portray themselves as strippers, video models,
sex objects and money hungry gold diggers. We as parents, especially
fathers have to find a way to counteract that. Constant communication
with our daughters is only the beginning. We have to also set a good
example for them. We have to show them how a man is supposed to love
a woman. A father’s love should be the first love that a young girl
ever experiences from a male. It is that bond and relationship that
will set the tone for what she accepts from men throughout her entire
life. It’s our duty to lead them down a road of self worth and into a
state of mind where they appreciate themselves for who they are.

We are in the process of losing an entire generation of young women to
reality TV shows. Instead of wanting to grow up to be lawyers,
teachers, and doctors they are growing up wanting to be basketball
wives, real housewives and Hip Hop Honeys. I’m not blaming any form
of media for the potential damage that it may cause to current and
future generations, but I am blaming those parents who let their
children be influenced by those images on TV and on the radio. As a
parent it is YOUR responsibility to either shield your child from
these images or to keep it real enough with them so they understand
that the things they see on the TV and hear on the radio is not what
life is all about. When I look at those girls in that picture I hear
all of them begging for attention and screaming “look at me”. A big
part of our culture is now based on the not so real Reality TV and
these girls are living out their version of a “look at us…we are young
and pregnant and we still got it goin’ on” But the fact of the matter
is that they don’t have it going on because they don’t seem to have a
clue as to the damage that they could potentially be doing to their
lives and the impact that their actions today can have on their children tomorrow.

So as a parent who is actively involved in my child’s life and also
actively involved in social networking I think that it is my
responsibility to incorporate knowledge and understanding of social
networking when I talk to my child about matters like sex, peer
pressure, and drugs because it’s obvious to me that social networking
has taken us all by storm but we have to be mindful that we are
incorporating the things that we know about it into our conversations
with our children because if we don’t then our children will be forced
to experiment for themselves and not be properly trained on how to
conduct themselves on or off social networking sites. We have to
lead by example. The way that we conduct ourselves on social networks
should reflect the way that we want our children to act on social
networks. The days of being able to sit back and let the teachers in
school teach kids about sexual education are over. Our children are
under attack by the very culture that most of us know and love and the
sad part about it is that many of us don’t even realize it.

This is a call to action to every father who has a daughter that he
loves! Don’t just tell her that you love her, but SHOW her how much
you love her. She needs you in her life now more than ever and she
will need you more tomorrow than she needed you today. The day that
you decide to give up and think that she doesn’t need you is going to
be a day that she will never forget and a day that you will live to
regret. Your love is what she wants and your love is what she needs.
If you don’t do what you are supposed to do, she is eventually going
to do what she thinks she has to do in order to get the love and
affection that she is missing. We all should have dreams and
aspirations for our little girls, but I don’t think the worst
nightmare of any man could compare to looking on the internet and
seeing his beautiful little princes standing in the mirror showcasing
her pregnancy at such a young age.

None of us can change the things that are going on with the girls in
that picture but we can all do something to make sure that our
children don’t fall victim to the pitfalls as these girls. Take a
moment to think if you are doing enough to educate your child about
the relationship between sex and the social networks.

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11 thoughts on “Students, Sex, and The Social Networks

  1. Showtime! I just finished reading your blog!!! I think it is wonderful what you are doing. I am a woman that grew up with my father in the house and I truly believe his influence is why I made better choices in men as an adult. As an adult woman I was able to let go of men that where no good for me and my Father (not my mother) was always the one to tell me the truth about what type of man I want. He taught me what was to be expected from an upstanding man and also told me about the pitfalls for choosing a man that was less than my standards. I must admit that I didn’t always listen to my father and talked to those men that he warned me about, and every time I went against what he taught me I paid the price. So I say all that to say, may the Lord guide your words to be help to those fatherless children. May the mothers that are simply keeping with the tradition of single parenting, ( grandma did it, my momma and aunties did it, so im good) can open their ears and eyes to receive the information you are giving. May the fathers that have not seen their kids (because my baby momma be trippin ) will want better for them and feel the urge to lead by example. Now that I am a parent I have looked at the world so much differently now. Good job Showtime, your little girl is blessed to have you as a father and you are blessed to have God as your father. I am so very proud of you Mr. Talk of the Town! Your success is inspiring!

  2. I agree with everything Ms. Chaka wrote. My father has always been around, and as much as he tells his daughters they are gorgeous when a man does it. We don’t need it as much, my father praises me so much that it’s embarrassing sometimes. My nieces started looking for love all the wrong way, the day there father left. I am trying to build there confidence but when you want it from a man, no women can lift you. Fathers must understand, no man can deplete me if I have 2 fathers to tell me he’s wrong and I don’t need that kind of love. So he is just a man, nothing more, nothing less. I can unaplogetically tell any relationship or advise. Thank you but No Thanks that doesn’t work for me anymore.

  3. Elaine T on said:

    Lord have mercy. These girls have no idea of what being a mother is. Ain’t nothing cute about this. SMDH

  4. Elaine T on said:

    No pain meds, see how cute that is 🙂

  5. Coretta on said:

    Very well spoken. I agree with you on every aspect. Every father should read as well as mothers because unfortunately a lot of fathers are not involved leaving us mothers to be mom and dad and protect out youth from everything you mentioned in your blog. I was a teenage mom I had my 1st son at 17 although I was mature for my age if I had it to do over I would have stayed a virgin until I had more knowledge of my sexuality. I didn’t have my 2nd son and 2 daughters until I was in my mid 20’s. I’m so blessed that I have an open relationship with my kids and that my boys are the oldest because they protect their sisters as their father is not an active part of their lives…and he was my highschool sweetheart we have 3 beautiful children turns out all those years of knowing him I never knew him……LADIES AND YOUNG WOMEN protect your bodies and your hearts it all starts with you. And Showtime you are so right great msg….Love it.

  6. Stephanie on said:

    Wow…your blog say it all …..I grew up as a daddy girl but when my parents got divorced my dad did not play the role as father anymore and that did leave me looking for validation. I am so thankful my daughter’s father is a great dad and that gives her that love, affection, and attention that every little girl needs and yearns for. I hope men will read your blog and be inspired to step up. Thank you, Showtime.

  7. Mrs.Darden on said:

    This is not cute. Where are the parents of these girls? What does the school have to say about all of these young pregnant in their school? Was this one of those packs?

  8. Awesome read Showtime!!! You touched on every aspect of this problem, from the social media to the parents at home!! If only the people who really need to read this would read it! That picture broke my heart and it’s just sad to the cycle continue when those kids’ kids began to grow up as teenagers…unless someone else like a relative/family friend intervenes to assure that the new kid is brought up with morals, values, and high self-esteem.

  9. Burgandi K on said:

    Showtime, your blog is on point, on time, and much needed. It is a shame how we adults are letting this generation down. We complain how bad and grown kids are, how nasty and degrading the music is and how ignorant television programming is; but as a whole we aren’t doing a thing about it. I applaud your efforts and I want to help! Tell me what I can do! And keep the dialogue going! 🙂

  10. Great article Show! You definitely highlighted the responsibility of both the male and the female in these situations. Good POV!

  11. The picture is heartbreaking to say the very least. However, it is a harsh reality of the society in which we live. Your article is very thorough and needs to be read by many. In these days and times Black men and women are often at odds with one another but I think this should reinforce to both genders how much the Black man’s presence is needed in the lives of their children. There are some things a girl and even male children, need to hear specifically from their father. It takes a village to raise a child so we need all fathers on the front lines. I’m going to run on before I get all teary-eyed over this.

    Congratulations on the launch of the new site!!

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