Parents and Social Media

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Chase Kaplan Most kids have various social media accounts, whether it be Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, or the like, but do they want their parents to have these platforms too? Sure, there are some perks to having an Instagram-savvy dad that’s constantly adding to your like count, but there are also downsides — having a parent on social media can be tough. At first, showing a parent the ropes of social media can be fun. We’ve all been asked “what are you doing on your phone so much?” one too many times and explained to a parent how it works. Naturally, then, the parent wants to “join the fad”; you might end up helping them create an account. Once their account is up, it’s fun for about a week to help them post random photos from 2005 that get two likes (from you and your sibling, of course) and have a caption that gives the impression that they don’t quite know how Instagram works. Parent accounts like these, however, often fade out fast. For the most part, having a parent on social media is hard. It’s not that you don’t love your mom, it’s just that maybe you shouldn’t be friends with her on Snapchat. Every kid, at this age especially, needs a certain divide between their social life and their family life, because when the two mix, it can get messy. It’s one thing for your friends to see uncomfortable photos of you from your last family trip around your house — it’s at a different level when they’re liking a photo on Instagram that your dad posted of you holding an ice cream cone and fake-smiling. Getting friend requests from other people’s parents can also be problematic. You don’t want to be rude and deny them, but you’re also not super comfortable with your friend’s mom liking a photo of you and her son and commenting “Lookin’ good!!!!!!”. The protocol for being polite is different online, and much less clear than it is person. There isn’t a clear solution to this problem, and until Instagram publishes a parent-on-Instagram handbook, there won’t be. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is watch what you post, untag yourself in anything a parent could find your account through, and when you’re asked what you’re doing on your phone, maybe just say you’re playing Candy Crush. Stay safe, readers.]]>