I recently allowed my daughter, Kelcie to take over my Facebook page. As the precocious person that she’s been since birth, Kelcie presented her carefully curated argument as to why she should have an Instagram account. As a High School Assistant Principal, I have a uniquie vantage point of understanding the effects of social media on teens. Needless to say, I am opposed to it. Kelcie asked me for the chance to appeal to my peers, and the dialogue that ensued was not only helpful, but eye opening. Here’s her case:
Hi guys. This is Kelcie. I asked my mother could I have Instagram and if you’re seeing this post you probably figured out that she said no. I just don’t see why not. I’m going to high school and can’t stay a kid a forever. I’m growing up into a young lady and I want to have this app for many reasons. She doesn’t think I should have it, but she said we should ask the people. So please, for me☹️, tell her I should have Instagram.
Here’s Mom Tara’s follow up post:
I allowed Kelcie to make a post on my page about wanting IG. That post was very intentional. This was absolutely a teaching moment for her and me both.
1. We looked at how many people weighed in after 30 minutes, and it was over 70. I needed her to see how quickly things can be viewed on social media. Then I said, we have no idea who may have screenshot it.
2. I asked her if she felt pressured to respond to folks opinions about her. She said yes.
3. I pointed out to her how she asked for people to tell me that she should have an IG, and people responded PASSIONATELY not only to her, but to other folks comments as well.
4. (No shade here. Part of the lesson tho) I even showed her how people (some whom she’d never met) were willing to go against what her mom said because of their own personal opinions of her. Now that’ll preach…
I’m not saying no because I don’t trust her, she’s honestly an amazing kid. I wanted to physically show her how quickly and easily you can get sucked into the social media loop from hell. Lord, I wish ya’ll knew how many fights I’ve dealt with at work that started on social media; that seems to be a huge problem for high school students. I needed her to feel how heavily that feedback loop would weigh on her emotionally. She literally sat on my laptop trying to respond to everyone, and at one point she even said, “I lost track of who I’ve responded to!” She felt obligated to clear up miscommunication (an all too common problem that plagues some women. Many behaviors are learned…).
We just had a dope conversation about boys, freshmen year, high school drama, and the physical, emotional, and physiological changes she’s experiencing. We talked about how social media seems fun, but ultimately gives other teens 24 access to her. When we finished talking, she smiled. I asked, “What’s on your mind?” She responded, “I’m kinda sad that you’re right, but I totally get it now.” 😉
What are your thoughts on allowing your teen access to social media?