I must tell you that the knee-jerk reaction I have when I think of my kids joining social media is no, absolutely not, never and lets just not even go there. Why do I feel this way? Well, it is just one more thing to monitor for one, and I just don’t need anything else to my list to check on. My daughters also see their friends five days a week if not more, so they are not lacking socialization.
My oldest daughter, Meg, does think it is somwhere she needs to go. Hmm. Now I have to do that parenting thing and not the dictatorship thing that comes to naturally and makes my life that much more easy. Meg will be the magic 13 this October and is already being strategic about getting onto Facebook as 13 is the legal age to have a Facebook account. I will repeat, Facebook allows you to have an account when you are 13. I repeated that because many parents don’t know this or don’t care about this rule. I recently learned that everyday Facebook kicks off around 100,000 underage kids. It irritates me that parents allow and encourage their kids to break the rules. Go ahead, teach your kids that rules don’t apply to them, we need more entitled kids in this world (sarcasm).
I have noticed that many of Meg’s friends are on Facebook (underage) and even have open to the public accounts. Not even the basics of safety have been undertaken. That scares me. Are we just ignorant as a society or in total denial that bad things can happen to our children?
Okay, back to my own house. I know my kids will be exposed to social media at some point, Actually they are already on Yoursphere network. I love Yoursphere and have tried to get Meg’s friends on it so they can talk and be social online together in a safe place, but it didn’t take. The kids were already on Facebook. I even recommended it to the middle school principle and PTO as a fundraiser and a solution to the social media problem at the school. No go. This at a school that at the orientation spent the majority of the time talking about “mean girls” and social media problems that they were having with behavior.
At a recent Girl Scout event they offered a Hip Pop session for parents/leaders covering social media basics. The one thing I really took away is that we want our kids to be innovators of social media/computer not just consumers. Meaning we want our kids to learn and create things not just stare at a screen. He suggested that we get our kids blogging, making movies, even writing apps. I was pleased that Meg already fits in this category with her blog.
To sum up this all over the place post, I am working towards a plan to raise media savy kids who are productive in our techy climate. I will share my plans and ask many questions on this quest.
I have a headache already. Why can’t they just stay little and be happy with a few places?