I recently attended a class for parents of teenagers. The topic of discussion was media and social networking. I decided not to participate in the discussion and opted to listen to the input from the parents. I noticed that the parents of younger children were very against their children ever participating in any social media and the parents of older teens discussed how they carefully try to navigate monitoring their children’s involvement with their devices.
I decided I was the teenager in the room.
I have a blog, I love Facebook, I was on Twitter before it became the hot hang-out for teens, I have Snap Chat and Instagram and I text. What am I missing?
Obviously, I wasn’t going to stand up and say, “Dudes! Yo! Screens forever!”
Because that would be bad and I might lose my reputation as overly-protective-slightly-ignorant-homeschooling-pansy-Christian-blonde. And that would be, well I could stand to lose a few adjectives.
So, I sat there listening to the parents give their input about the trust they have to put into their teens when they walk out the door and hope that they aren’t assaulted with images on Joey Nogood’s phone on the bus or in the hall or wherever.
And that made me want to hide my children in a hole until they are 25, but then they would be super pale and socially inept……wait. Uh, erm, might have that going on without the hole.
Still I was not opening my mouth to say anything, because I was enjoying the banter of these parents. Some of them were wise to the fact that FaceBook is so yesterday and if you want to know the real kid just follow their Twitter and if that shocks you then you can only imagine what that kid is Snapchatting and Instagramming and none of it would be Pintrest worthy, I promise.
Do I need to insert that as I type this my 19yo daughter is laying practically in my lap while surfing Pintrest and my 8yo is shoving a Calvin and Hobbes book in my face every few minutes, “Mom! Read this. Read the whole page. It’s really funny. Read it.” I have yelled, “NO! Get that out of my face!” several times to no avail and I’m passed kindly asking my daughter if she could choose any of the other three chairs in the room, “GET OFF ME CHILD!”
Obviously, my family does not have issues with being together.
I gained some insight from the class and decided there were some things I could monitor more closely. Hopefully, my children will have a strong moral compass by the time they leave the confinement of our home, but there is always the chance that they could be sucked into the dark world of selfies and hashtags.
I’m not going to tell you how we manage/monitor/control the use of social media in our home. I think it’s wise that we talk about it with our kids all the time. Hopefully, they will learn discernment and keep their head on straight without causing their parents to worry about them constantly.
I need to go update my status. Snapchat you later!