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  • Writer's pictureJ.R.

Keeping Kids off Social Media

TB2F Community Feedback


Well, no show this week. I do look forward to seeing any of you attending our holiday open house today. And don't forget to hit the Swag Shack to grab some of the new items we released and support your favorite podcast 😉 As we've indicated on the podcast, I'm re-doing my studio before the 2024 year kicks off. We plan to do a show next week in our library if necessary. So, instead of a list of links or stuff worth reading, we decided to focus a bit on social media use for kids.


As our kids have gotten older, like most parents we've taken advantage of modern technology by getting them wearables to keep in communication with us as they wander off to grandparents' houses or are out with friends. As they've grown we've steadily added the ablity to email and communicate with a curated list of friends. Currently, the oldest three all have Apple watches and use old iPhones as music players.


With this use of technology though rears the ugly head of social media. I say ugly as a one of the original Twitter users (circa 2009- Molly also had an entertaining one you can still access at https://www.x.com/titustweets) and getting on Facebook at the behest of my brother just after they opened it to non-college kids. In the early days, it was pretty good, nay, it was pretty great. From having instant up-to-date happenings with friends and family to completely changing the conference game. For instance: for several years I attened one particular yearly industry event. The 2009 conference was cool but I didn't know anyone. The 2010 conference? Oh man, after a year on Twitter, it was meeting up with friends.


As the years have passed though I think it's safe to say we've all seen the shift to algorithm-based, influencer and advertiser overloaded post. We've also probably noticed our on addictive tendancies and the time we waste moving our thumbs. It's lost much of its attraction and many users are looking for a new, maybe even healthier digital connection point. I'm also pretty sure we've all heard bits and pieces about Meta and others knowing social media can be incredibly harmful, especially to kids.


There's a lot going on here, from parental responsibility to the variances of each platform. I'm not going to get into that. What I am going to do is share some further resources and anecdotes that may help you with your own opinion and decision making on social media access for your kids (and maybe even yourself!). As it currently stands, we will not be allowing our kids to have any social media accounts until at least they're 18 or out of the house or whatever comes first 😅 Anyway, here is some recent community discussion we felt worth sharing.


 

I'll start with this text string with a listener, mom, and public middle school principle whom I'll simply call "T":

Molly: Hey TnT, a serious question for you: what’s your policy about your girls and social media?
T: None of it.
T's Husband: We only have one. No social media.
Molly: Until when? Do they want it? Do they look at yours?
T's Husband: No they don’t want it. Right now graduation.
T: With school [one daughter] has some instagram pages she would like to follow associated with school and such. I have followed them and she can check on them [She] has wanted instagram and has asked about another one but that’s about it. The girls know what we deal with all the time so they get why we don’t allow it.
T (cont.): Yeah. I believe- no research-that all it creates is social issues. Most of the issues I deal with all stem from social media. I see more issues from Snapchat than anything but I just feel avoiding it all together is better!
Molly: I agree 💯, but I really appreciate your firsthand perspective as well as the fact that you’re doing it real time with your kids.
T: We are probably 1% of the population unfortunately.
Molly: Yep. Seems like parents either have no idea, or they feel powerless to say no, as though they weren’t made the kids’ parents for a reason. Or they think their kids will be the exception.

Here's a notable anecdote from Phil on Telegram:


Phil on Telegram:
We're empty nesters (youngest is 20 year old Marine).  If I had known this, I would have done things very differently.  Keep your teens off social media, even if they tell you they're dying.  Our oldest had always been an "old soul", mature beyond her years, and was valedictorian of her high school.  Once she got on social media, it wrecked her.  We don't know whether she's going to recover from the emotional destruction wrought on her.  Just don't.

Phil shared the following resources:





I'll close with another podcast episode worth your time:



Cheers!

Featured Image by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

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