Here I am using social media as an outlet, but I can’t stand social media for our kids. As adults, we pretty much know how to navigate social media appropriately at least the majority of us do. Modern day social media can be so disgusting and demeaning. It doesn’t seem to serve an appropriate purpose anymore. Again, this is all my opinion. I’m a teacher and I see how kids become addicted to technology and social media. Personally, I love to troll Facebook. I occasionally find myself obsessed with looking up people and comparing my life to theirs or just checking their posts and pictures to see what’s going on. I do the same thing with Instagram. But I actually use Facebook and Instagram for connecting with family members, posting pictures of my kids for the family members we never get to see, and asking for recommendations from friends. I am careful who I accept and request for friends. But nowadays, I feel that kids just want to be accepted and it’s some sort of competition for who has the most friends and followers. I don’t get it.
I am guilty of following every single contestant on the Bachelor on Instagram. Sometimes I actually think I’m friends with them and the amount of disgusting and soul-crushing comments to some of the women and men are insanely disturbing; making fun of how people look, telling them they should kill themselves, calling them whores, etc. It makes me so sad for this world we live in. Keep your goddamn comments to yourself if you have nothing nice to say. No wonder this world is messed up. No wonder parents are scared for their kids to grow up in this world. I can’t imagine how hard it is to parent a teenager in this world. God bless you all. I wish pray the hate will eventually stop. There is so much of it everywhere that it’s sometimes hard to see the good in people. I want to believe there are good people and kids feel good about themselves, but it’s getting harder every day.
And then you have kids who come into school saying they were up all night Call of Duty on X-Box and the iPad with other random people they don’t even know is extremely concerning to me. I remember following my cousin in high school on Instagram and seeing so many bullying comments. My heart was so hurt for her. She ended up deleting her Instagram at the time, but now that she’s older, she has a new account and I will occasionally stalk her to make sure she’s okay. Sorry Maddie, but I do.
I didn’t have social media in college. Facebook was founded in 2004, but I didn’t join until right after college in 2008. I really can’t recall any bullying on Facebook or MySpace when that was cool, or I was just oblivious to it. But for some reason today it seems extra bad. Maybe it’s because I am more aware and there are more outlets, but I can’t fathom my kids ever using any type of social media. I get them using the iPad here and there. I occasionally let Jules go on YouTube Kids on my iPad, but I control the amount of time and I don’t like to let her use it before bedtime. I don’t ever judge the parents who use it at restaurants or anywhere away from home. God help me when she’s a teenager. For some reason, I see Hudson not caring as much. This world is way more harsh for girls I think- so many societal expectations and pressures to be this beautiful, skinny, perfect person with 1,000 friends in real life and on social media. I just wish I could explain to her now that she will probably hate me for never letting her have anything but a cell phone with no internet or any access to social media until she’s 65.
I’m all for social media when it’s appropriate, but how do kids learn what is appropriate or not? I know it’s our job as parents to control that and set limits and boundaries when it comes to technology and social media, but when they aren’t with us (like they are now when they are toddlers and babies), how do we protect them? I can’t stand the thought of them growing up and letting them go off into the real world. It reminds me of being in the hospital when both of them were born and then stepping foot outside for the first time ever in their little innocent lives. They are now exposed to pollution, cold/hot weather, toxins, the sun, etc. I hated it because I felt like a little bit of innocence was being ripped away even though I don’t them to live at the hospital forever. But I feel like this circle of life and the extra shit that comes with it (social media, bullying, fitting into the societal norms) is going to be the obstacle I will have to face.
We are all trying our best and we love our kids so much it hurts. Yes, these are the things I think about and I already worry about their future so much. I wish I knew they were going to be okay and happy and safe.