My husband and I work with high school students at our church. Because of this, and especially around graduation time, my thoughts are drawn to my kids 15 years down the road. What will they be like in 15 years? What paths will we walk to take us to that day of graduation? More important, will I have successfully encouraged them to choose to attend Texas A&M, the best school in Texas, and possibly in the whole United States?
You know. Very important thoughts I am thinking.
We’ve all heard the stories of how graduates are impacted by things that they’ve posted on social media. But I also tend to think a lot about how what I post impacts my children.
Like most of my friends, I’ve got all kinds of social media accounts. I joined Instagram while I was on maternity leave with my firstborn, after a couple of years over on Twitter. Now that I have my very cute and adorable children, it’s become my social media channel of choice, and I probably post on average five pics a week.
I also Facebook and blog, and because of my current occupation at home, they are what I think about, what I tweet about, what I write about, and what I Instagram. My previously funny co-worker moments are now with my preschoolers. If I Instagram my awesome lunch, my preschoolers are there. That amazing sale at J. Crew? I shopped it with my preschoolers. They are ever present and part of my every second of the day story. (And I love it, by the way.)
As this group of high school seniors are graduating, their parents are bringing out any number of fun and silly pictures for senior slide shows. Several years ago it prompted me to come up with an easily abideable rule of thumb where posting my kids’ content on social media is concerned: if it’s too personal or embarrassing for their senior slide show, it’s not appropriate for social media.
Like every mom under the sun in the 2-to-4-year category, potty training happens at our house too. But you know, I figure that when my son rolls into 7th grade and tries out for the football team for the first time, he probably wouldn’t appreciate that I spilled his PT victories or defeats with my Facebook friends for his middle school football teammates to find by googling or whatever it is we’re doing on the Internet by then. So you won’t see that on my blog or a cute, yet tasteful, potty shot on my Instagram. You also won’t find bathtub photos or stories of how my kids frustrated me. Those aren’t the things we’ll be dwelling on when we reflect on their 18 years at home.
Maybe I’m a prude, but I don’t mind the label. I don’t want to leave a legacy on the Internet that would embarrass my children in the long-term. In a world where content can go viral in an instant, I want to think TWICE before tweeting about my kids.
What precautions do you take in terms of social media and kiddos?