We Weren’t Born To Follow

My tween daughter wants to hijack my Facebook account.

I humoured her and let her choose my display photo and cover photo, because allegedly I am not presenting myself in the best possible way. I need to be more aware of my social media presence and I simply was not putting my best self forward…or something. Frankly, if you were looking for information about me, Facebook isn’t the best place to look unless you are my Facebook friend. I’m very particular about what I display to the masses, so you might find out that I am female and maybe my name or something like that. Nothing terribly exciting. I do have a Twitter account & Instagram but even then you wouldn’t learn too many interesting things about me as a person. You may find lyrics to songs I like or my random thoughts throughout the day, but nothing terribly deep or interesting. My child feels like I should be focusing on my social media footprint.

Social media is super exciting to her. She has begged me for a Facebook account for almost a year and I keep saying no, because she is not of age. She does have a locked Twitter account that I get to review, where she mainly Tweets about her love of One Direction and the Voice. However, it does concern me that social media is so exciting to tweens. Her friends have Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Facebook and they’re all very concerned about how they appear on these sites. This makes me kind of glad that I’m not a kid growing up in this generation. I find Facebook, Twitter and themselves to be almost like an abusive relationship; I just can’t seem to quit them, and the idea that young people rely on them more than anything to maintain some kind of social status quo scares the effing bejeebers out of me. I’ve seen adults cyber-bully each other, through vaguebooking and subtweeting, creeping their exes because they still harbour romantic feelings etc. We read all of the time about teens bullying each other through social media and I guess it weirds me out that children as young as 10 and 11 can be sucked into that world. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is great for me to show off my daughters and keep in touch with out of town friends and loved ones and for me to network, you know, it’s intended purpose, but like all things in life, it comes with good and bad. I know there are good sides to social media, but I also worry about teenagers being concerned about a “social media footprint” and wonder if we are raising kids to be vain and to base their self esteem around how they are viewed on Facebook or Instagram.

So, for at least one more year, I will keep my child away from Facebook. Hopefully by then, it won’t be cool anymore.

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