A Note to My Kids on Social Media: I Was Here First

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A post entitled, "A Note to Parents: How to be a "cool" parent on Faceebok (as written by a kid on Facebook)," was brought to my attention last week and I loved it! Go ahead and read it… I’ll wait here for you…

Oh good! You’re back. I loved this article because she hits the nail on the head. There are SO many parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles on Facebook today that actually joined AFTER their kids did (there are also plenty who still haven’t joined but that’s another post), and have really lost their cotton picking minds on what should be common sense. In a word -- STOP STALKING YOUR KIDS. That’s not cool.

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But… being who I am, I have to offer up the OTHER side of this story which is how kids act on social media sites and what the rules of engagement should be from my perspective.

  • I was here first. You’re here because I brought you here. Yes, I realize you would have gotten here eventually but in the words of Ricky Bobby… if you ain’t first, you’re last.
  • Just because we’re friends doesn’t mean that I’m watching everything that you do. As a matter of fact, quite often I forget that you’re here until you post something crazy or inappropriate.
  • Speaking of… you need to watch what you’re posting. I know you think only your friends are seeing the crazy things you post but as luck would have it, I’m seeing it, your dad’s seeing, grandmother, etc. Grandparents think you’re still 3-years-old -- they don’t take you dropping the f-bomb too well -- especially in public.
  • Repeat after me: Once on Google, Always on Google. You think hitting that delete button will get rid of that photo or statement? Maybe. But most likely not. On the young side of the curve is 13-years-old… you can do a lot of damage to your reputation in 1 day. Think about what you can do in 5 years as college admittance offices are scouring the internet. At work I call it brand management. At home I call it reputation management.
  • Speaking of reputations… since you went behind my back and readjusted your privacy settings, now we’re talking about MY reputation as well. It’s bad enough being “that kid,” but you better not put me in the spot of being “that parent” to “that kid” or even worse -- “that family.” There’s a good chance that my friends and colleagues are seeing the stuff you post and that affects MY reputation which can also affect my financial situation. And believe me, Miss “I love Abercrombie,” you don’t want our finances affected.
  • Don’t post personal information about the family. You may think something that your sister did is funny but if you post it, it’s the same as taunting her in public. I may tell you something in confidence and you don’t think it’s a big deal, post it and suddenly we have a big issue on our hands. Think twice before you post something that’s not about you.
  • The first time you hijacked my Facebook page and posted something like “my daughter is soooooo awesome” was funny. Repeated posts like that are not. You wouldn’t want me to do it to you so don’t do it to me.
  • Blocking me is not cool and in this house. It will get your Facebook account taken away. Same goes for passwords… the only reason I’m going to log into your account is if I think you’re doing something you shouldn’t be. I wouldn’t block you, so don’t do it to me (or anyone else in the family). If you really don’t want to see my posts, hide me.
  • If I inadvertently post something that upsets or bothers you, let me know. I promise I didn’t do it on purpose.

Agreed that this is a new medium between parents and kids and agreed that a lot of parents don’t get how to navigate the “waters.” However, you also need to remember it’s a two-way street and we both can coexist in this world without any issues.

And remember… I was here first. ;)

 

Kristen Daukas
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Photo Credit: andrewfeinberg.

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