Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kids and Social Media

Dear my sweet innocent monkeys,

I write this not because I don't trust you, but because at some point in the near future your poor little frontal lobes are going to go berserk and social media will be there to capture it all.  No matter how much we try and put distance between you and social media, eventually you will both be out there.  Of course there are a few tips you can do to hopefully avoid all the pitfalls inherit in our current over share, TMI culture.

First, remember that everyone around you has a phone, video camera and voice recorder on them at all times. When you are mean, dorky, or just generally stupid remember that it isn't just the people right next to you that will hear/see it.  Someone can post it in seconds and a mean word can become toxic soup to everyone who knows you. Mooning the principal is all fun and good, until someone puts it on Facebook and tags you.  Make sure the people around you have your back and you have theirs, nothing is more powerful than knowing there is someone outside your family you could call in the craziest of circumstances and know no one will know about what happened.

The adage 'do unto others and you would have done unto you', it is something to live by, both in person and on the net.  Currently we, your parents post funny statuses' and pictures and laugh at your fumbles, and you find it funny and like it.  At some point you won't find these posts and pictures funny and as soon as you tell us or show us you aren't ok. they will stop. We will not hesitate to keep your life as private as you want it.  Remember to be a friend like that and not expose your friends faults and make fun of them, in person it is hard to use harsh words, on the internet it seems so easy.   If you have an issue with someone, don't passive aggressively post something on the internet, talk to the person and tell them they are being an ass. Words hurt and if you use hurtful words they will come back to you.  When your friend gets trashed and pukes on a girl at a party, be the friend that blocks the phones taking pictures with your body and get him out of there he will return the favor, and if he doesn't he isn't your friend.

Keep your profiles and relationship status as private as possible.  Playing in social media is great and it is amazing to be able to contact friends far and wide, but you don't want a frenemy getting access to your status and pictures.  You don't want anyone to know you are going out with that boy so that all the cheerleaders call you a bitch, on your profile page.  Sometimes the best part about being in a relationship or experiencing some of the great things you do in youth is the privacy of it, the fact that only a few select friends really know what really happened. There are only a few pictures floating around, a few hidden jokes here and there; hidden jokes aren't hidden if everyone knows what happened.

Post as if your grandma, boss, or mom is looking and reading everything, because eventually they will.  Once  upon a time social media was the home of the young, but no more.  Today your employer goes out and reads your blog, looks at your twitter feed and sees what is posted on instagram.  Suddenly that spring break in Cabo looks a little less fun when you think about grandma looking at wet tshirt photos.  

Remember once something is online it is there for life and you will not be able to delete every picture on every site.


  1. I can't tell you how many times I've thought/said, "Thank god Facebook didn't exist when I was a teenager." I was a well-behaved nerd (still am!), but even for the best-behaved kids there is so much drama in the life of a teenager. I know I would have posted things I regretted regarding boyfriends, frenemies and the like.

  2. I would have crawled in a hole after California focus and hoped to not come out until my senior year. It would have been horrid