Social Media and Our Kids

I am a big fan of social media and how it can really make it easy to spread ideas worth spreading.  Of course, this is also its biggest danger – bad ideas (that seem appealing) spread even faster.

When I was growing up, Dad bought a pool table for our game room. Why?  So Mom and Dad could keep an eye on me, listen in on my conversations, and see who I was hanging out with.  We had one phone line, which made it easy for them to “overhear” what I was talking about.

Now parents don’t overhear conversations any more unless they grab the cell phone and look at the text messaging or go online and check out Facebook.  Technology is creating a communication gap between parents and their kids, and it is about to get much worse.

The new trend among young people is to completely abandon computers and do everything on the new social media phones.  The iPhone and the new Google Motorola Droid, which releases tomorrow through Verizon, are prime examples of this.  Now kids can keep their whole life, all of their “friends,” in their pocket.  Facebook, Twitter, email, texting, pictures — everything, all in one place.

When I was a kid I remember a public service announcement that would come on the TV.  It said “It’s 10 p.m.  Do you know where your children are?”  So my question to every parent out there is:  “It’s a social media world.  Do you know what your child is saying, and what others are saying about your child, in cyberspace?”

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6 Comments on “Social Media and Our Kids”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Ziglar and Mike Argiros, Dear Sydney. Dear Sydney said: Great Post!!! = Read this – RT @TomZiglar: Social Media and Our Kids – new Ziglar blog post http://budurl.com/ej33 […]

  2. Mike A. Says:

    I work with students at a special needs / therapeutic boarding school ( http://www.thefamilyschool.com ) and over the past 30 years our experience resonates with this post. There is a greater disconnect between parents and children. I sometimes feel that the social elements (such as technology) adding to the separation are multiply so much faster then techniques to counter them are. In the Family Counseling work that we do, it is ever so important that we (close to) updated so we can educate parents and students about the pros and cons of emerging technology in the context of Family unity and communication.

    I just had an experience personal with my 9 year old. I came home from work and commented that we need to get ready soon for the AYSO end of season soccer party. To my surprise my son angrily expressed that he didn’t want to go. I was not sure what that was about and upon further discussion he said that “John (older brother) just got of the computer and now its my turn and if we go to the party I’ll loose my chance” Now while we do our best to regulate computer time etc. My kids are not subject to super rationing of access time. So I responded by drawing attention to what I believe is more significant issue – his friends. My son is social and active. I of course told him he had to go but I placed more emphasis on the real time contact he will have with his friends. When the power goes out the computer goes with it but not your friends. He of course had a great time. I also want to note that it wasn’t more then a minute after we walked into the part then he was off with his friends playing, smiling and glad to be there.


  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by tomziglar: Social Media and Our Kids – new Ziglar blog post http://budurl.com/ej33

  4. Tammy McDaniel (@tammymcdaniel) Says:

    I always thought the announcement said, “It’s 10 p.m. Did you hug your children today?” BTW, it is relatively easy to monitor your children using ORM tools on social media platforms, but the more proactive a parent is about online conduct is likely best.

  5. Brian Dunbar Says:

    We have a deal with our kids (ages 28, 26, 16, 15, 9).

    (Well, with the three youngest. The two oldest are problems for the Army and her husband, respectively.)

    They can have all the social media doodads they wish. We get passwords to their accounts. This works great for two of the kids. One of them tried to ‘sneak’ accounts on us. She gets no computer time unless strictly monitored by mom or dad.


  6. What is really mind blowing to me, is that a lot of parents have their head in the sand. They think that their son or daughter will do the right thing without any guidance on their own. Not likely!
    Parents should become more engaged in their kids’ online social lives while giving them the space and freedom they need.
    It is down right scary to me that some parents have no idea what their son or daughter is doing with their cell phones, text messages, on the internet and social media sites.
    The world is getting smaller as technology grows. And The “World” doesn’t have our kids’ best interest in mind.


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