I think this is my last post (for now) about social media. This one is huge, in my opinion. As big as protecting our marriages by watching what we post, I think.
Our kids are watching what we post. No matter where you fall on TOS and letting kids younger than 13 create an account, or not letting them create one until they are 13. Or not until they are on their own as adults. It doesn’t matter how old they are, they are watching what you post.
In fact, my 7 year old watches everything I post, every chance he gets. He asks me, “Are you putting that on Facebook?” when I’m typing on my phone. He reads over my shoulder if I’m not paying attention. Because of his interest, his younger brother is taking an interest, too. And I’m friends with my stepson on FB, so he can see everything I post.
We are always talking about monitoring what our kids are posting, gently correcting them when they go too far, or post something they shouldn’t. Hopefully we are monitoring who they are friends with, and teaching them not to share too much personal data. No matter the level of involvement we take with them and their use of social media, we have all probably said something about using it carefully.
What are they learning from our example? Are we careful with what we post? Do we keep our words kind or say nothing at all? Or do we gripe about bad drivers, rude store clerks, and complain about our spouse and kids? It takes 10 positives to ease 1 negative. So just think, if we complained about the kids on Monday, it isn’t until Wed/Thursday of the following week that they are feeling better about that negative thing. (Assuming we post once per day, and don’t post any other negative in the time period.)
That’s not the end. Our kids are learning to lie or tell the truth based on what we do and say. Little white lies, even on social media, are telling them it’s okay to lie. They are also learning how to talk about other people. They are learning when to keep their mouths shut based on when we do the same. So, is it okay to call people stupid? I think not, but if I’m posting about that stupid driver that cut me off &%*$(, then they are learning it’s okay as long as you bleep out the yucky words. But let’s face it; it’s not really okay to talk about people that way, even if they weren’t driving the way you wanted them to.
They will also learn how to treat their spouse in the public eye based on how you treat your spouse in the public eye. Are you lifting yours up or tearing them down? Yes, the things you do in private, at home, teach them, too. But when hunny hurts your feelings and you blast it all over social media, those little eyes are learning that’s okay. And then, the will hurt their spouse the same way.
End the cycle now. Ask yourself, as you type out your next status update, what am I teaching my kids by posting this? Would I want them to see this? If the lesson is negative, or it’s not for their eyes, then don’t post it.