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Kids and Social Media

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by FireStar Firestar 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #668008 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    I don’t love social media, but I had a Facebook account for about 6 years before I quit. I noticed that people would have some public pictures of their kids, which crossed a line sometimes – nudity, female children, bikinis, etc. that concerned me. A male co-worker of mine has a daughter who was doing child modeling at probably 5 years old, and he or his wife started getting creepy messages from some guy when they had her modeling pics on FB. He stopped the whole modeling thing at that point even though he was a child catalog model himself, haha.

    I just got an Instagram account to see if I could keep in touch with people that way, without fake news. Answer: no, it’s so boring. But I just noticed that someone we know who has 3 girls, the oldest of whom might be in 8th grade, has about 1,000 pics in her public account, swimsuit pics of the kids, all kinds of things. And the kids have public accounts where they’re posing in swimsuits like they’re 19. Am I crazy or is this normal?

    What do you guys think is appropriate in terms of kids and social media?

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by avatar Kate.
    #668114 Reply
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    Ale
    Member

    It’s normal but that doesn’t mean it’s ok, so you’re not crazy.
    I’ve seen it happen, people make accounts for their kids or post a million pics of them and it’s totally inappropiate. Social media is not at all safe, so maybe post a pic here and there, but a million a day and in swimsuits is not ok. Experts have talked about this behaviour, and at least where I live, I’ve heard that child molesters and pornographers could be stealing kids pics from Facebook or Instagram.
    I have a couple of friends from high school who post at least 3 or 4 pics every day of their kids, including locations and things they’re doing. Both these women are pretty well off, so I can only imagine that someone could be following them and could plan a kidnapping or something. From their social media, you can tell where their husbands work and everything. And we are in a Latin American country, so yeah, it’s dangerous.

    #668116 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, that’s another good point about making your daily routine public, pics of your car, your neighborhood, pets, the places you regularly go… For these over-sharers it seems like it would be really easy for someone with bad intentions to have access to information that could help them act upon them.

    Another thing about Instagram is everyone acts like they’re 20 years old and super hot. Ok, not everyone, but you’ve got middle-aged moms posting every selfie they take, videos of their hair blowing in the wind, and kids posing and commenting like they’re much older than they are. It’s really weird. Facebook has a lot of problems too, but at least it makes you think more about what you make public and private.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by avatar Kate.
    #668118 Reply
    juliecatharine
    Juliecatharine

    I don’t disagree that this is stupid parental behavior but it is unbelievably sad that pictures of kids doing normal kid things like running around in a swim suit are perceived as being sexualized because there are sickos out there. So sad, so gross.

    #668119 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, but JulieCatherine, a lot of it isn’t the old kind of “kids playing in the pool” stuff like you and me have snapshots of from childhood. It’s tweens trying to look like “Instagram models.” My 14-yr-old cousin has a FB account that she has to keep locked up, and my mom has said how uncomfortable it is to see the stuff she posts, how old she acts on there.

    #668124 Reply
    Lianne
    Lianne

    I am currently only on FB for some groups that I am apart of (like my moms’ groups), and, admittedly, I post the “monthly” photo of my son there for his grandparents. Being on there, I will post some of the memories that pop up or like pics/comments, but mostly I don’t post. I love Instagram, have a private account, and am very judicious about who I allow to follow me. However, you know these kids with private accounts find people to follow and all them to follow them back. It’s concerning and I really hope that by the time my 7 month old is old enough, social media is either over or at least takes on a different format than what it is currently.

    #668125 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, you keep it locked up. You don’t look a fool. The person I was talking about above is approaching 50, and she posts EVERY selfie of herself with the Snapchat filters. You and I take those and text them to each other when we’re bored. She posts them daily, along with details about where she is and what she’s doing.

    Are people really this dumb?? I know my parents were pretty overly private – they went by my grsndma’s rule “don’t talk about your kids, no one cares,” and they just threw all the pictures in a drawer (I think they just got around to organizing them last year). Sharing some kid pics and news is fine, but how can people be so oblivious to how far they’re taking it?

    #668127 Reply
    Nookie
    Nookie
    Participant

    grandma’s rule “don’t talk about your kids, no one cares,”

    I’m so into this

    #668129 Reply
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    RedRoverRedRover

    I’ve posted two pictures of my kids on FB – one of each of them when they were born. That’s it. But my MIL keeps posting pics. She’ll post pics she takes while she’s babysitting, so we can’t really stop her. I always give her hardcopies in an album for Christmas, and she’ll sometimes take some of those out, take a picture of it with her camera, and post that. It’s so fucking annoying. We’ve asked her to stop but she thinks we’re being silly. So, yeah, nothing we can do unless we cut her off from the kids entirely.

    And I’m with you Lianne… I hope this all blows over by the time mine are teenagers. Either that it’s gotten bad enough (with identity theft, or not being able to get jobs due to your social presence) that people realize there has to be more privacy. And all the social media platforms enable good privacy control (and maybe even have it private by default and you have to explicitly allow access). Because right now it’s still the wild west and it’s crazy. Especially for kids, who don’t understand the consequences.

    #668132 Reply
    Skyblossom
    Skyblossom

    Facebook is out for the high school kids here. They don’t have Facebook accounts because their parents do. They consider Facebook to be the same as MySpace.

    I’ve posted pictures of my kids when they were doing something interesting like their birthday party or visiting some place out of the usual. I think girls pick up sexual posing from their mom, media and their peer group. I’ve never taken selfies like that and have barely taken a selfie. I think I’ve taken one so my daughter hasn’t picked that up from me. I’ve never bought fashion magazines so she wasn’t exposed to those and we quit watching most TV when she was young or before she was born so she hasn’t had the media exposure. Her peer group is made up of girls who are similar to her and to us. They aren’t chasing boys and so aren’t trying to be sexy for boys. My daughter has no interest in selfies and no interest in trying to be sexy. She likes to look good and she wears clothes that she likes but doesn’t try to give off that sexually provocative look.

    Part of it is just the kid and the personality that they were born with. I’ve joked since my daughter was very young that she was a closet nun. She has always been conservative with her clothing choices and I have at times tried to get her to relax a little but she is who she is.

    I read an article about narcissism a few months ago and it said there is a correlation between the percentage of selfies to total pictures that a person posts and narcissism. The more narcissistic a person is the more selfies they post. I thought that was interesting.

    #668133 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    I looked up the study, Skyblossom. It’s interesting… it says the correlation is pretty modest, particularly among women, who are more likely to be using social media (and selfies) as a way to connect. But the woman I was writing about above does seem to be exhibiting the vanity and attention-demand aspects of narcissism, as well as just obliviousness and not high intelligence. And to your point, she’s passing this behavior along to her daughters as an example. I’m with everyone who says that we all need to become more aware and get past social media as it exists today.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/close-encounters/201508/what-is-the-real-link-between-selfies-and-narcissism

    #668145 Reply
    FireStar
    Firestar

    I’m so paranoid about this kind of thing. We don’t post pics of our kid – unless it’s the back of her head or her shadow. And even then, my account is closed to just friends. We email cute pictures of her to family and friends directly. Facebook friends not in my immediate sphere didn’t even know I had a child until two years later.
    Pictures posted don’t have a shelf life. It can be part of her history, even as an adult. My friend sent me a pic of his niece at 12 all dolled up, with red lipstick – licking cherries – that was her profile pic. She looked 21. And like she was auditioning for an escort service. It was insane. If I want to teach my daughter that these images (and even milder ones) are a potential problems and private things shouldn’t be accessible to the public, then I need to set precedent now.
    It is sad that innocent pics of kids running through sprinklers are fodder for evil… but that’s our world. Take the pics. Just don’t share them openly.

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