Tackling ever-evolving technology as a father can feel daunting, and even overwhelming. After all, I grew up in a time that was more Atari, less iPhone. The prevalence of technology, particularly social media, in our children’s lives is inescapable. That also means that it’s another parenting sphere for us to explore and be aware of, particularly as they move from childhood into preteen and teenage years.
Between Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and more, there is always a go-to platform that keeps our kids engaged… and exposed to a wide variety of influences.
This is where we as parents come in. We need to understand who, and what, they’re watching, and how it aligns with your family’s interests and values. With over a billion videos a day being watched on TikTok, the amount of content available is staggering.
As parents, we need to engage with our children about what they’re consuming on social media, and how they choose to interact with it. It’s important to talk about and explore the idea that what creators post is often staged, and that there is so much that goes on behind the scenes.
With our daughters, and in actuality, our sons too, we need to talk about how filters on social media change what people look like, and that natural skin and people are beautiful, and don’t need to adhere to an over-stylized or edited existence. The ”fear of missing out” should not dictate their lives.
Social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives where the best of the best is shared, to create a false facade of perfection. We need to make sure our children know that they do not need to keep up with the digital Joneses, and that while social media can be a great way to connect, it should not be used to keep them down.
I’d love to hear how you’ve approached social media use with your children, and if you have any anecdotes you’d like to share.