#Social Media, Don’t Ignore it!

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81% of teenagers feel that social media has a positive impact on their lives.

7.5 million users in the US are under the age of 13, despite having to be aged 13 or over to hold an account.

I was asked to explain the importance of social media to me in my personal and/or professional life. Social Media is a job for me both personally and professionally. I’m a parent and a designer. Educating myself and my kids about the positives and negatives that come along with social media is an important and huge part of my life. For all the good that goes along with social media, we can’t ignore the bad. Especially as parents. Your kids need you to help guide them through the rights and wrongs of the internet. Keeping my kids safe while letting them have their space and privacy is a delicate balancing act that I’m sure most parents are juggling nowadays.  

If you’re a parent today, social media cannot be ignored or forgotten on any given day. You’re probably trying to figure out healthy ways to have your own social media life, while managing your kids too.

My family and friends always complain that I never get back to them or keep up on any of my social media accounts. They don’t understand why I even have them. I just laugh and tell them if they want to get a hold of me, just become friends with my kids or a customer of mine. I spend more time monitoring what my kids are doing on their accounts then I do with my own. It’s hard to keep a positive attitude toward social media when you’re a parent, but I feel my job helps with that. Work helps keep me focused on all the positive impacts social media can have in your life as well. Design and marketing are a creative field. Creativity I feel only breeds more creativity when seen and heard. It’s also a very competitive field. It’s amazing to me that with all the different types of medias that are out there today, people still come up with even better and more creative ideas every day. It’s inspiring!

We live in a world where they now have apps to help you monitor all your accounts in one place. You can tell the app what to flag for you or even what to omit. There are even apps to help you monitor your kids accounts. They can help keep them safe on the internet and save you time and headaches. So, you don’t have to keep them off social media all together. Even though I’d be lying if I said most days that sounds a whole lot easier. They have come so far with the safety features that can be applied and monitored on each platform and continue to improve on them.

Image shows examples of social media platforms flagging problematic use and providing a help line

Speaking of social media and how easy it is to communicate with anyone from around the world. One of the hardest things to achieve in personal and professional life is mastering the lines of open communication. Social media affects communication both positively and negatively in this manner. The positive, you can reach out and talk to anyone anywhere all over the world through social media for both personal and professional use. It inspires a creative social avenue to communicate your brand and the work that you do. The negative, when you constantly socialize through a computer, how does that affect your in person social skills? Does it affect it at all? Studies show that it decreases interpersonal interactions and puts children at risk for emotional neglect. For every positive in life there’s always a negative. When it comes to social media and kids, the best advice I’ve found:

In the end social media is what you make of it, like most things in life. If you use it for good and positive behavior and teach your kids to do the same, you will more than likely reap what you sow. You know what they say about looking for trouble, you never really have to look very far. However, if you put the work in and learn how to use it right it can take you far. Who knows, you could even earn a little money doing it or a lot of money if you really get good at it. Nothing comes easy. Good or bad social media will only continue to grow and infiltrate our kids’ lives and everything they do. So, get out there and become a part of the Metaverse. Your kids are depending on it. Social media puts the world at their fingertips. Let them surf the internet world.


2 thoughts on “#Social Media, Don’t Ignore it!

  1. Kristin:

    You made very good points about the use of social media by kids under age 13. I know people who let their kids use social media and do not monitor them. There are good points of using social media and bad as you stated. Your references, pictures, and information are very useful in getting the point across to parents about navigating how and how much their children use social media.

    I do not have children, but I thought the comic picture about inviting the kids My Space friends to the parent’s My Space page was a cute way to enforce the kids to abide by the parent’s rules or else.

    I also liked the graphic showing the amount of people using mobile devices online. It makes a great point about making sure your social media posts, websites, etc. work both on desktops and mobile devices. This is especially important for businesses to monitor both the mobile and desktop versions to make sure their information is visually attractive in both areas.

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  2. I love that you touched on both the good and bad parts of social media! I don’t have kids of my own but I have little siblings and I work at a summer camp so I see the effects of social media in their lives. There is so much good out there with social media but the bad can effect us so much more than the good at times. It sounds like you’re doing a great job of trying to navigate that area for your kids even though it can be really hard!

    I also really liked how you touched on the fact that social media can effect our social skills outside of the internet. That’s not something that’s talked about often but I definitely see that being a problem. I see a lot more social anxiety I’m not just kids but people in general now and i can’t help but wonder if social media might play it’s part in that!

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