Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Creating Your Child's Media Image.

One of my sons (who will remain nameless) has a very funny night-time issue with our cat. Many of you have probably heard about it. It is hilarious.

The other night I was determined to get it on tape. After all, what parent doesn't have those funny videos  to pull out of the dusty shelves at just the right moment of your child's adult life to get a good laugh at the good old days?

However, the natural thing for me and my generation would have been to immediately put it on Facebook for friends to see. Indeed, I have been guilty of such. We love our kids and love sharing the crazy, funny, "cute" things they do with all 500 of our "friends." But something stopped me.

Jake is almost 10. Max is almost 8. In a few short years they will be opening their own forms of social media accounts. Even sooner, some of their friends will have social media accounts. Imagine entering into the "Facebook world" and discovering that you already existed. At a stage of life where your desire is to become your own person, invent yourself, seek what makes you "you." There you already are. In the form of a child...the exact opposite of what you are seeking to become.

Imagine yourself in those times. Come on...think hard back to Jr. high...high school.  Okay...now imagine all of your friends having access to all of your most embarrassing photos from childhood...and the videos. Don't forget those. Also all of those embarrassing stories once reserved only for parents to tell your friends in the moments you happened to leave them unsupervised.

Yep...now featured on Facebook. Before you even arrived.

We hear a lot about protecting our child's identity for the sake of safety. But what about protecting their identity for the sake of...well...their identity.

These conversations are going to happen more. The same night these thoughts ran through my mind, a friend posted THIS article. And then I read about the trend away from FB by young teens. Part of the article mentioned that they don't like their parents on FB. Part of me does not blame them. 

1 comment:

Sheri said...

insightful, Jodi. BUT, I sure will miss the videos....!

Maybe someday I'll be around when you're pulling them out for "just the right time"!