If you’re the parent of a pre-teen or teenager, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about and talking with them about social media. Social media can be an important way for older kids to connect with their friends, especially right now. But it can also be full of predators, cyber bullies, and inappropriate content. You probably follow them to keep up on what they’re posting and how they’re interacting with others — but what about what you post and how you interact with others?
You already know you should limit how much you share about your kids online. You need to protect their identity, as well as their privacy — they should have a say, at the very least, in which pictures of them you post. But posting images of them is not the only way you might be embarrassing; no, you can be embarrassing in lots of ways.
We each have our own special, unique personas on social media, and those personas can vary based on the platform. I, personally, keep my Facebook and Instagram accounts private, and they act as a way for me to keep in touch and share photos with far-flung family and friends. Twitter, on the other hand, is a different story.
My son is 10 years old and isn’t on social media, but I’ve recently started to think about how one day, he will be. Maybe he won’t be on the same platforms that I most often use, but if he were, how would I feel about him seeing what I post? Will the cute anecdote I shared about him feel, to him, less cute and more an invasion of privacy? (Totally possible.) Do I use language on social media that I’d never use in front of him? (Yes.) Am I more politically outspoken than I’d care for him to see? (Nah, he knows where I stand.)
I will want to be able to see what he posts, but what do I think about the reverse? As adults, we’re certainly entitled to a certain amount of privacy, but how far are we willing to go to get it? Do we make our profiles private and keep them out? Keep them public but block them? Censor ourselves, at least a little, knowing they might see what we post?
Tell me in the comments: Do you let your kids follow you on social media? And if so, does it impact how you use the platform or what you post?