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Dear Wendy

Kids and Social Media

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by FireStar Firestar 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #668149 Reply

    That sounds right to me, Firestar. And gross about that guy’s niece. I had another FB acquaintance who had a daughter that age, and both on the mom’s and the kid’s page there’d be very adult-like poses in like full makeup, daisy dukes and cowboy boots, doing crazy poses in a bikini. They also publicly aired family drama. Just… what are you thinking?? The mom would also post immature stuff about “haters” who were jealous of her body, I guess because someone made some comments about pics of HER posing in skimpy dresses and stuff. I kind of miss that kind of wacky bullshit on FB, tbh, but NOT when kids are involved.

    #668151 Reply

    I see that kind of posing the most in families where the mom is driven to insure that her daughter is popular in high school. These families enroll the daughters in cheerleading at the age of five to help insure that their daughter is a cheerleader in high school. They will enroll their daughters in gymnastics not because the daughter is interested in gymnastics but because they think it will help her compete in cheerleading. All of their childhood activities are geared around being a cheerleader in high school. The moms dress them to look like cheerleaders from a young age. They try to make them sexy from a young age. The daughter’s entire identity is wrapped up in becoming a high school cheerleader with no thought to what comes after high school. It’s like the only goal for the daughter is to be a beautiful, high school cheerleader. The main focus of their childhood is on looking good and cheerleading. I find it very sad that there is no identity beyond high school cheerleading. These girls are lost when they arrive in college and no one knows that they were a cheerleader in their high school and no one cares what they did in high school.

    I’ve seen something of the same with boys and football. Again, they start as young as five and play in youth leagues until middle school and then they play for their school. We have an acquaintance whose son is very bright and participated in academic activities but also football and his identity was very much that he was a jock, so much so that he didn’t want to be photographed with any academic team, not even one that won state and went on to nationals. He’s a freshman in college and feeling lost. He has a great academic scholarship to an ivy league school but he’s embarrassed to be living in an honors dorm and doesn’t want to be friends with the honors students. He’s not a football player but wishes he was.

    Kids need a multifaceted identity. They need to see themselves as good at a variety of things and to see themselves as a friend, a family member, a good person who helps others. A person with a variety of interests and talents who is free to explore those interests and talents.

    I think that when you see a kid who is twelve posing in a sexy way they are being pushed into an identity based on a sexy look and they probably have nothing else.

    #668153 Reply

    My husband and I have discussed this on several occasion! We don’t have kids at the moment, but are planning on having kids. I’m a semi-regular poster on Instagram, which I link to my facebook, but I have always felt like our (future) children should be allowed to decide their own online presence when they are old enough. Maybe this is incredibly unrealistic, especially these days with social media and smart phones, but in my thoughts it seems realistic.

    My cousin and his wife just had a baby, and they created a photo sharing album that you can request to join, which I think is a great idea. That way their close friends and family can see and share photos without it being through a social media site.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by avatar SLS.
    #668155 Reply

    I’m also worried about what we are teaching our kids. I mean, I don’t have any yet, but in reflecting on Christmas, which I shared with my cousin and his children aged 5,6, and 9……we spent a lot of time taking photos of them, or cute photos with them on our phones. And while we didn’t post them to social media (except their mom who shared a select few photos), I wonder what we are teaching them by always documenting and sharing?

    I really agree with your sentiment Firestar: “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.’

    Pictures in physical albums can be shared and access can be controlled. Pictures online last potentially forever and can come back and haunt you later. I’m judicious in what I share, but I feel like when I have kids I will have to be even more cautious.

    #668157 Reply

    My one cousin also started a new thing where her kids need to ask people if they can take a photo of them/with them; and likewise she’s teaching her kids they need to be asking if someone can take/share a photo of them. They are still young and don’t have social media, but for me the next step is to them have discussions about what we share.

    I’m tempted to be like my parents one day- they fully monitored any online activity. They constantly asked about anyone I was chatting with online and made sure I only interacted with people I knew and trusted in real life. It’s so weird to me to see my acquaintances get 300+ likes on a photo…. They’re connected to so many people just for online gratification. Meanwhile, I’m freaked out when a friend of a friend comments on a run on post on Strava (whose privacy settings stink).

    #668166 Reply

    We have crazy tech here since my husband designs and programs etc. When my daughter was 18 months, I removed YouTube from the iPad since it’s wild west and I didn’t want my daughter opening things she shouldn’t (before I knew about the kid version where you just watch spoilt children open toys all day) Yeah. Didn’t she figure out how to use another app (that just had nursery rhymes) to get to YouTube through a back door no one knew about? (it took 5 non intuitive steps (clicking on logos;going to upgrade page but not upgrading) to get there… But she did… Consistently.) under 2 and essentially hacked access to YouTube. I’m sure she’s not alone. You absolutely have to monitor everything they do. Everything. From jump. Like you are their stalker. Every key stroke. Every picture. It just has to be the law of the land so you don’t even need the new sheriff in town when they hit 12 or whatever age they are big women all of a sudden. They are growing up around technology in a way we never did. It’s natural for them. We are the ones that have to keep up in order to keep them safe.

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