Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Are you a good social media role model to your children?

How to be a good social media model to your children

I almost think teaching kids to be savvy online now has almost passed. I don't mean just letting them have accounts and not supervising them in the use of what to and what not to post, but in regards to how they use it with their friends. We've all posted photo's we regret, drunken nights out etc but I've also seen comments from concerned parents about some of the harmless stuff such as endless selfies and how silly their child looks with pursed lips.

I've been on the interent as a full time hobby, tweeting, facebooking, blogging etc for over 8 years, I own an iPhone and MacBook air, I share personal moments, photo’s, thoughts and feelings on a daily basis. I tell you how family behavior affects me but I no longer tell you what that behavior is/was anymore.

Many times I've written an update or a blog post and ended up deleting it for fear of reprocussions, not because I’m worried about offending anyone, I just hate the back handed way people think they can hide behind a screen and say what ever the hell they want.

The 4 boys all have social media accounts and use them differently, I find my kids aged 18-27 use them in different ways and rarely post anything on the main timeline, in fact when I consider how many friends children I have on facebook it is rare that they actually post anything, they comment on peoples posts and share ‘motivational’ crap but rarely share what they're up to, but are happy to respond to messages with details when you ask them about a party, girlfriend or if they want to let off steam about their mum or dad…lol.

My children didn’t grow up with social media, they grew up with a mum who used social media, the youngest had instant access to the internet, he's 18 now but was in boarding private school from year 2 and at 4 years younger than the next sibling he had almost instant access to it, where as the eldest went thorugh school without it being around to any great extent and the demand for mobile phones still being seen as a privilidge and not a right of passage, having left school, college then home by 2007, he's not really got into it, the middle 2 entered their teens through the normal route but left their teens and entered into adult hood with every piece of technology going although they use it very differently, one mainly for gaming, the other the same as I do.


Hubby has only recently started using facebook, he trusts my decsions in regards to meeting total strangers, but the reality is its my kids that keep the closer eye on me when I'm using social media, offering advice, questioning my decisions, asking me to remove images and blog posts because their friends are on here and it could embarrass them, half the time my kids think I'm a bit stupid and when it comes to social media and I do have to remind them from time to time of the number of tweets, responses, comments and blog hits I get and how long it has all been running.

I haven't been the best social media role model for my children over the years, having gone for tweet ups with virtual strangers, but I've always met people in broad day light in busy areas, such as cafes or pubs and I've always let others know where I'm going who with and when to expect me home. In most cases I've met up with people after exchanging messages, exchanging phone numbers and having Skype calls. On one occasion my then teenage son, sauntered past a local pub with his mates to 'check' on me.

I've met people at football matches at half time for a drink, gone to places I'd never have been, events etc and in 2015 I flew from Dubai to Canada to stay with a women I met on twitter. We've had complete strangers come and stay at our homes in South Africa, Dubai and the UK, but we've never had a bad experience to date. 

There have of course been some meet ups that haven't gone as well as I'd have hoped for, with someone being completely different in real life to how they've come across on social media, my kids have been a good judge of character and nearly every one we knew in South Africa we'd met online and we became real life fiends, who one of the kids have stayed with when they went back to South Africa to visit their friends. 

I am of course still cautious when making friends on social media, I've sent private messages to my kids when I think something they've posted online could upset someone, especially family members, but it's more likely that the kids will message me with 'muuuuuum, what were you thinking? take that post/picture down.

Are you a good social media model to your kids? 

Are your kids savvy online?

25 comments:

  1. It's a tough question I have 5 children my older children won't let me look at their phone haha! But I hope I have educated them well enough to be sensible with social media. My 5 year old twins no I'm not being a blogger I'm on my phone way too much must try harder fab thought provoking post #tweensteensandbeyond

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    1. I do think we lead more by example than we actually realise, if i thought about my kids meeting people online I'd probably have a few words to say on the subject, despite doing it myself.

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  2. Only two of mine have social media. Before then, they grew up with us adults talking about the tech side of it all and how it can go wrong (both of us are in IT), so they are probably more savvy than they should be for their ages! #TweensTeenBeyond

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    1. I dont think kids can be too savvy these days, especially when it comes to staying safe online

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  3. Well it's always good to look at things from another perspective. I love that they are monitoring your usage!! It's here to stay - right? We do have to get used to it. Of course, we use it (well I do!), tweens is still too young and has only just got the phone. You describe many benefits here. I mean look at all the bloggers we meet. I've also had one come to stay. You can imagine what The Kid had to say about that! All's well that ends well and thanks for bring a great post to #tweensteensbeyond

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    1. I was fortunate to have grown up without Social Media, i hate to think what would've happened when i was a teen if i'd had access to it, my kids saw me using it, then naturally progressed to their own accounts, although their access to technology was restricted, unlike a lot of children today getting iPads and phones as young as 2

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  4. When my teen was younger she harped on for all the social media accounts. When her 13th birthday hit I made her them and she used them for a week or so then got bored. She rarely uses them now. lol She knows what to do and what not to do. I think I have taught her well x
    #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. One of my 4 boys is active over all channels, another mainly on instagram, none of them like face book much

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  5. If I'm honest I wish social media has never been born! I don't think it does my kids any good, however you can't un-invent what's there, just learn to make the best of it. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. as a family we've been fortunate that the children and ourselves have never been exposed to bullying on SM, i've had a few comments that have upset me but at my age, i've learnt the skills needed to ignore and walk away

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  6. My teens are very active on social media but they know the rules - closed groups, no interacting with strangers etc. I am a new to this whole thing and they find it so funny that I am so clueless. I blog anonymously because they don't want to be identified, not me and I have to respect that, after all that is the rule I have drilled into them! There are however so many benefits, it just needs to be used wisely. A great post Suzanne and very pertinent. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. i was banned from using photos of the kids for the past 5 years, but they are all adults now and have lifted the ban, although they don't blog they do enjoy reading my posts and often comment to me about them, on occasion they will ask why i didn't blog about something and i tell them because it's their story to tell, not mine

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  7. I try and be sensible about it. Our kids are growing up in a different time than we are and I want my five year old to be comfortable in this new world. Internet safety just gets added to the list of things that we need to be teaching now. #triumphanttales

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    1. I feel I've been very lucky, i grew up without it and was able to experiment with it before my children were old enough to use it all

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  8. My eldest just turned 13 and I have let her go on Instagram. She has showed just responsibility so far. She has asked for snap chat but at this point I have said no, I think at such a young age one social media platform is enough. My other 2 are younger and although use internet for school work, they don't go on social media. I am probably not the greatest of role models when I think about it, as my accounts aren't private etc. But what I post is very sensible. Makes me think though, great topics to discuss #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. i don't see wy we have all this private messaging in every platform, i think that's here the internet dangers can come from especially with children

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  9. I like to think I'm a good social media role model to my girls - they understand that they should never reveal their names online, or wear anything that identifies where we live, or the school they go to (safety measures that a lot of their friends are oblivious to). But, on the flip side, I'm probably a bad example for the fact I'm always on peering at my phone!!! x

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    1. I'm always careful with location finder and when I'm travelling i always post photos after i've left a place and moved on to the next place

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  10. This is a very valid point. I think that my children (at least the eldest two) are more savvy online than me. Their generation does not use FaceBook they have deserted it in the direction of SnapChat. I don't really understand that platform and my teens are in no rush to explain it to me! Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond.

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    1. i also have no clue about snapchat, blogging, twitter and instagram are my favourite platforms, Facebook just winds me up, but i do use it

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  11. My little one is only 4 but I am hope I will be a good role model. I am always cautious about posting my location on social platforms and never do when I'm out with my little man. If I post a picture with a location, it's later on in the day. I use social media a lot but I like to think I'm quite savvy with it. Thank you for linking up to #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again on Tuesday :)

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    1. i do the same with check ins, i do it after i've left the place

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  12. As someone trying to make blogging a career, it is hard to set an example of the time people "should" be spending as what I do is wayyy more than standard. But now I try to maintain it all on my laptop so when Ben sees me and Daddy on our phones it's general social media but my laptop means i'm working.
    we've also discussed having a family PC with no passwords to encourage openness for everyone!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow

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    1. it's not just about the amount of time one is on SM, but what we actually do on it and how it affect our lives and others around us

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