I Am Scared to Death of Social Media

I Am Scared to Death of Social Media

social media

Social media is everywhere. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, You Tube, Vine, Snapchat, LinkdIn, Twitter, Meetup – to name a few. The number of these sites is progressively growing each year. There are sites to anonymously text people, forums specifically to meet people, hate based networking sites, apps to anonymously admit your darkest secrets, sites to anonymously send people not so nice notes, not to mention all the phones, tablets, and game consoles you can interact with people from across the world. The internet is a rabbit hole of options to explore technologically.

The problem is my son is interested. Very interested.

He is in fourth grade this year, and his online interest is growing as I type this. He is already asking for permissions on his XBox to play online. He is already addicted watching You Tube videos (with certain permissions, of course.) He wants a phone. He wants a You Tube channel. He wants a virtual reality headset. He loves all things techy. After all, he is growing up alongside these technological advances.

The internet just scares me so much.

I am not talking about the dark corners of the internet my child may discover with a misspelled or unguided Google search. I am not referring to interaction with strangers. Those are both another completely different – and very lengthy – discussions. I am referring to the impact social media has on our society negatively.

I have seen the pictures of unknowing, innocent people in their bathing suit being shamed for being at the beach while spending time with their family. I have seen the videos of people playing pranks on people for the sole purpose of public humiliation. I have seen personal information publicly blasted because someone was “rude to a server,” or just behaved differently that the person yielding a social media account preferred. I have seen cyber bullying and truly believe it exists. And yes, I have seen people (and kids) commit suicide from the effects of social media.

This leaves me to wonder. How do I explain to my son the lasting effect of social media? How do I explain the finality of posts, comments, and pictures and the effect they can have on a person? How many times have my friends and I laughed and said, “Thank God we didn’t have phones with cameras in my day!” (Yes, I am old.) But it’s true; I have done so many things in my life I would have preferred not to be displayed for the world to see by a simple push of a finger. How do I make my children understand this definitive process and truly understand the effect it could have on them for years to come?

So I ask you moms, how do you prepare your children for that side of the wonderful world wide web?


  1. I only have a 3 year old so take what I say with a grain of inexperienced salt… But I’d say that with a 4th grader, you don’t have to explain to him why. You’re his mom, you’re protecting him, you’re allowed to just say no. When I was growing up, my parents’ phrase was “because it’s not appropriate for your age”. Boy, how I hated hearing that! But, now as an adult and parent myself, I see the value. They didn’t burden me with a lengthy explanation that would have gone over my head anyway, they simply created a rule meant to keep me safe and then put themselves in the drivers seat. Good luck as you navigate this world. I have teen and preteen nieces and nephews and it sure is scary what my siblings are dealing with in terms of tech and social media.

  2. I have a 14 year old and I just did not let her do social media. And a few of her friends and cousins have had limits too – and I can tell you they are doing better than the other peers without the limits. Instead I offer my daughter lots of other real life joys. It sometimes costs more in my time and at times money but to me the social media path to fulfillment is a path I did not want her to take. In fact limiting screen time of all sorts in general has been the best parenting choice I ever made. Some of my daughters friends struggle with being left out of certain social media but…they also see how wonky it is whereas the kids on it all the time just don’t have a healthy respect for how it is taking them over. It used to be popularity was sorted out at the lunch room – now its 24/7 and even on vacay days w family. Listen to your inner voice, use caution and you will thank your younger self later!


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