Eileen Wacker: Social Media and Connecting with Your Child Part 3 of 3 [The Moms Code Series]
Eileen Wacker is the award-winning author of the Fujimini Adventure Series. As a recognized thought leader and CEO of ONCEKids she has contributed to Fox News, Huffington Post and Resident NY Magazine.
My son asked if he could get the app that lets him know who ‘unfollowed’ him. We said no. But it does not change the fact, he actually cares about who ‘unfollowed’ him.
My son said, “There’s a 9 year-old at my school and she has 435 followers on Instagram and she makes her photos public.” I cringe, as this means anyone can access and comment on her photos. I say, “Does her mom know?” He says, “I don’t know.” I am tempted to call the mom as I’m sure she has no idea. “My 14 year-old says, “Well an 8th grader I know has 10,000 followers.” They explain how you get school yard cred for lots of followers. We explain the risks associated with buying into this. They look at us like we don’t get it, so instead we set limits on numbers.
For fb, we ask our children: How many friends do you have? How many close friends do you have? We go through them and set a limit. We set up Facebook and make our child list us as a close friend. It’s exhausting but necessary. Because if you are not participating, you can’t have these important conversations with your child.
Other social media trendspotter news–
Teens and tweens consider Linkedin and pinterest as older people social networking, and say myspace is old and forgotten. Twitter is not interesting for the teens and tweens in general. Most use blogspot in school as many teachers are using to host interesting discussions with their classes.
Google+ is getting more popular with teens and tweens. It is basically a safer facebook. It is an app downloaded free if the user has gmail.
Snapchat is a brand new, free app that allows users to create and send a short video. The video deletes after the user views it. Keek is another video posting app.
Texting is still intensely popular but increasingly used to send information; they also love the apps, where you can add a comment
Skype and facetime use is on the rise
Add-ons are king:
Fotorus – adds special effects to the photos
Pixlromatic – adds special effects (more than Instagram and works with photos or instagram)
Kik- instant messaging with Instagram
If your kids are on any of these, get on.
My 10 year-old gave me a great compliment today. He said, “Why would you join snapchat? No other moms are on it so you won’t have any friends to chat with.” I looked at him and said, “Well I have you and your sister for now. And that’s awesome.” I love being connected to my children. When one of them likes a photo I post or a fb entry I make, I feel involved. I love the discussions it creates and we actually have more things to talk about face to face.
Many of their most important conversations are happening via social networking and the trend will only get bigger. You will know so much more about their daily life if you get connected. Stay quietly in the background and it will bring back the days when they were little and talking in the backseat, forgetting you were driving. I loved those adorable chats and hearing the kids interact. Now we are just doing it in a modern way – via an electronic device.