The Unspoken Thing: Social Media

Praise sweet baby Jesus social media did not exist when I was growing through my teens and 20s! Take a moment and reflect upon all the stupid, reckless, and career-ending (before it started) antics you willingly participated in or orchestrated just for the thrill of it. You just blew your own mind, didn't you?! Unfortunately, our children were not so lucky as to escape the clutches of the innanets.

If you have grandchildren born in this millennium, they will never know of a world without Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vimeo, and whatever else is out there. They will also never see a world without smartphones; scary isn't it? What's scarier is following your adult children on social media.


MySpace was my introduction to social media. My children were the only reason I acquired an account. All they spoke about was, did you see so-n-so on MySpace? What is this MySpace and why does it have all of your attention, I thought. So, I sat down at the FAMILY (imagine that) computer and had my sons show me what it was all about and then had them walk me through creating an account. Needless to disclose, they were utterly mortified by me becoming an official user, but to keep their accounts active; I had to be one of their contacts, friends, or whatever the jargon was at that time. In other words, I am your motherly stalker monitoring your page, so you don't ruin your life. Then Facebook popped off, my sons knew the drill, and the rest is history.


I connected with my children on Facebook, well two of the three. Our daughter only allows us to follow her on Instagram. Still in my feelings about this, but it is her prerogative as she is an adult. However, she stated some of the things she posts on social media would offend us. Okay, thanks for the vote of respect, but what about the rest of the world? Which brings me to my next point. As parents of adult children, we no longer police what they post. Therefore they are going to make catastrophic mistakes without considering the consequences.


Some of the things my boys' post make me cringe. I used to inbox them little notes on etiquette, remind them about language and tome, you know the motherly things. When the notes did not improve their behavior, I commented on their statuses. Well now, I've been blocked a few times lol. Their dad and I spoke to them about how jobs and potential employers will peruse your social media accounts, how videos, postings, and the like have been used in court cases as evidence against people, of course, we didn't know what the heck we were talking about as it would never happen to them. In the end, I had to realize experience is the best teacher. The main issue I had to overcome was believing their social media content was a reflection of me. Sound familiar? What would my "friends" think about me? Why would my children post such filth? Did I teach them better than that?


Here's the skinny:

  1. What they post is just that. It's what they post.

  2. Who cares what other people think! Quiet as it's kept, their kids do it too.

  3. Because they can I guess (that's all I got).

  4. Yes, I taught my children better. It's up to them to choose better.

  5. *Bonus* this too shall pass.

They are adults, and they have to grow through just like we need. Do my children regret some of those postings? Absolutely! Did they face some harsh consequences? Yes and probably. Has their content changed? They're getting better-ish. Do I still love them? Without a shadow of a doubt! Growing pains come with the process; you can't skirt around the pain. However, we can help them walk through the pain. When all else fails, block them! No, I'm serious, very serious.


Allison

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© Allison R. Bethune