Social Media and Parenting

Imagine, if you will, Billy Mays sitting at a computer…

“Tired of waiting for Billy to bring over the new girlfriend to show her all his funny baby pictures? Do your kids avoid you having any interaction with their cool friends? Does Jane make you park around the corner from the school to pick her up?

“Well, now you don’t have to! You can get all the lovely social interaction with your children and their friends! And even their friend’s friends! With Social Media, not only can you show Billy’s new chick all his baby pictures, but you can share it with all his future girlfriends and their parents! Did Jane dance funny for you when she was 8? Wanna share those sweet moments of Billy and Grandma pinching his checks? Social Media can do all that and more!

“But wait there’s more!! Login today and sign up from all the different forms of social media and you share all those moments with friends 24 Hours a day! That’s right! Your kids don’t even have to be awake to be embarrassed anymore!”

– Okay now the serious note.

After I wrote this, Kirsten had the following conversation with Anthony after school:

Anthony: “Hey mom? Remember that silly picture you put on Facebook?? Well, now the whole world has seen it!”

Photo in Question - Posted with Permission of Tween.

Kirsten: “What exactly do you mean ‘the whole world’?”

Anthony: “Well, Ben’s mom saw it and showed Ben and now everyone at school knows about it!”

There I was writing what I thought was a funny article about how social media allows us a quicker and easier way to embarrass our children. Every parents right and responsibility.  But then Ethan, our nine year old, puts in his two cents:

Ethan: “Dad isn’t that cyber bullying?”

Dad: “Well, it’s different…wait…maybe…not really. It’s really about the intent, honey. Mom and I don’t share these photos and captions with the intent to humiliate you but to rather show how cute you are as kids.”

Ethan: “ohhhhh….but it’s still embarrassing.”

So, as social media grows and changes, maybe we need to step back and look at how it changes the interactions of the family. Do your kids have access to social media? Should they be allowed to not friend you? At what level do we trust them and let them interact with the social world with out us? Do we become cyber stalkers and read every email, every Facebook comment, every tweet?

Luckily, I have some time to think about this. For you parents already dealing with this, what do you think? What have you learned?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ken
    Jan 09, 2011 @ 11:42:03

    Good stuff, Jason, but you know my theory. Embarrass your kids early and often. Repeat.


    • jasondeeds
      Jan 09, 2011 @ 16:21:32

      I’m wondering about the degree of embarrassment. Like many other aspects of our lives, Social Media has allowed us to take the concept and share our children with the world.


  2. Jamie
    Jan 09, 2011 @ 16:07:49

    Uhoh. We’re gonna be in BIG trouble someday, though I’m sure FB and twitter won’t even be around by the time Nora’s old enough to realize what humiliating things we’ve posted about her…


    • jasondeeds
      Jan 09, 2011 @ 16:22:41

      I wonder when our kids apply to college if the college will look up web content on them and find these funny stories and pics. What do people think of our children when they have never meet them and can only judge them based on web content?


  3. Trackback: Social Media and Parenting 2.0 (Overexposed) « Domestic Deeds

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