I’d heard many of Mo’s classmates discuss their social media accounts, but I blissfully hoped the urge would pass my son. It did for a while. However, as the topic of conversation amongst his circle became dominant with social media happenings, he caved and asked to join IG.
A month before his 11th birthday my son had his first social media account. When I was in 5th grade, I was worried about winning the Science Fair. I know, I know…
I was a nerd times are different now. So, instead of being negative (child porn, crazy people, TMI, technology overload all ran rampant in my mind) I looked for the silver lining to my offspring being on Instagram. After all, I’m a Social Media Influencer so it can’t be so bad, right?
After digging really deep, I came up with some good points of kids being cyber active. Here are 10 positive aspects of kids on social media:
1. Less Time On The XBOX– Work with me here….I had to start small. FIFA15 used to dominate Mo’s free time, but now he laughs with his friends about what they see and post on Instagram. It’s the lesser of 2 evils for now.
2. You Get A Glimpse At His Circle– Seeing his followers gives me a good sense of who he is connecting with online and in real life. He’s only allowed to accept kids he knows or we mutually approve. Kids always smile in front of parents on the school yard, but when I see how they post and comment, I get a more realistic glimpse at who he’s surrounding himself with. Be warned little fass girls!!! Mama is watching.
3. Social Media Can Be A Good Resource– As a soccer fan he follows some accounts dedicated to the game. After seeing a few videos of a guy with impressive futbol skills, Mo made it a mission to enhance his pitch performance as well by emulating some of the IG videos he’d seen. Many times he’s been inspired to ditch his phone and run outside to practice his soccer skills.
4. Role Models Start At Home– After viewing IG accounts of celebs and athletes he’s commented that many were lame. He’s realized that while they have extreme athletic prowess, they’re just normal people. They’re not untouchable super humans in his eyes. They post pics of their dog, food, and Starbucks just like the rest of us.
5. A Whole New World– The beauty of social media is being able to discover life outside of what you live. If used correctly, kids can uncover new adventures, culture, and hobbies by experiencing it through others. Seeing travel, new food, cool outdoor adventures has helped Mo realize there’s another realm of life.
6. Mommy And Mo Time– Mo being on IG has given us something “cool” to talk about. He loves sharing
weird funny things his friends post with me. We discuss things on his TL. He’s even asked me to help shoot videos and photos for him to post. I guess this is modern day bonding.
7. Business Ed– Mo is already thinking of ways to capitalize on having a social media presence. I love his entrepreneurial spirit. My future businessman is thinking ahead to innovative ideas and money making media. He’s subconsciously learning about strategy, marketing and branding.
8. Mom Is Cool– Although I
was forced vowed not to comment or “Like” any posts, I occasionally remind my son that I know a thing or two about Instagram. One night when Mo fell asleep I hacked updated his bio and corrected a couple of his grammatical errors.
9. I See My Child Through His Eyes- We all have preconceptions about who we think our kids are. Seeing his IG posts lets me know what’s important to him at this stage of life. It’s a wakeup call that he is young man navigating adolescence. My ideology of who he is may not be consistent with who he’s growing up to be. I enjoy seeing him through his own vision and photos.
10. It Keeps Me In The Technology Loop– The day after Mo joined IG, I joined SnapChat. I’m constantly trying to understand the latest social media avenues so I will have an awareness of what my kids are facing. The more parents fight the presence of social media, the further they dissipate into technology darkness.
When your child joins social media it is an evident reminder that he’s growing up. I wasn’t happy about it, but I chose not to fight it or make it taboo. We discussed concise cyber guidelines. I am constantly monitoring his account. I try and remember what it was like being a kid. It’s so easy for parents to drive a wedge between themselves and their child by not understanding what is important to their generation. If we continue to harp on the fact that “I didn’t grow up doing this” we will create a further divide with our children. I choose to embrace this social change and hopefully leave the lifeline open for my son to feel comfortable about communicating with me.
If all else fails I can stalk his social media accounts and see what he’s up to.