Your Children Should Not Follow Me on Social Media

April 7, 2014

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Really, this post should just end at the title. There need not be any more said.

But, I find myself in the situation where your children, small cousins, and even friends of Leah, are now following me on Twitter and Instagram. I can still lock them out of Facebook, and I fully intend to do so. None of them have really found me on Pinterest, which is good because sort of this and mostly this.

I spoke at a conference a few years ago where I discussed the overhaul and rebranding of my site and explained that while I didn’t remove a lot of my posts, I did scrub it for certain words (not entirely) because, “I just didn’t need that much ‘fuck’ in my life.” This still holds true, but, it doesn’t mean I am not  myself in these spaces.

These spaces of mine are not for children. They are not for children because, in my day-to-day life, I use words and ideas that are not meant for children of a certain age. Leah and I are connected on Instagram because I monitor her activity that way (and others). I will not make my account private because social media, for me, is both personal and sometimes professional. I am the same person in each arena.

Because Leah is the age she is now, I am becoming, selectively, a bit less guarded with my language around her. I am even less so in social media.  The fact is she, at some point, needs to understand using certain words appropriately and selectively. I know she knows them, she just needs to understand boundaries.

But, Leah’s friends have, occasionally, found me. I’m fine with it, but, I always let the mom know and say, quite clearly, that this is a really bad idea. I explain, that while most of my content is frivolous or motivating or thoughtful, it sometimes will include a bad word or an adult concept.

That said, there is something to be said for “modeling the way.” Social media is vast and can be dangerous and scary – but, the positives far outweigh the negatives in my view. If your kids learn the word “motherfucker” from a motivating cartoon, but also learn about community, interaction, and online graces by following me and my small audience – well, you decide what the lesson is there.

Because here’s the thing. My parenting style is reflected in my social media presence as well. Don’t believe me?

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So, it’s really up to you. There are worse things they can do on the Internet than follow me, but, don’t let your kids follow me unless you are prepared to have some discussions on certain things.

It takes a village to raise a child, right? Great! Just know, in my hut, the bad words are part of the lesson and are the lesson.

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