Social Media Guides for Parents

Written by Emily

Kids are a lot of things: curious, fun, playful, silly. And also stupid. Stupid+curious+fun+playful+silly leads to twerking in front of some guy’s camera phone during Spring Break, which becomes footage for Girls Gone Wild, the web edition…or worse.

In my day (yes, I’m saying that), we got our information from someone’s hot breath whispering in our ears while we ducked behind the seats on the school bus. And while the vast majority of that information was probably misconstrued, blown out of proportion or horribly inaccurate, the whole world didn’t have access to it because even the most vocal Sirens couldn’t do what the internet can do with a single “post”, “tweet”, or “send”.

The game has changed. But kids remain stupid and curious and fun and playful and silly. And so, naturally, I’m terrified.

To help me sleep at night, I created some graphics to help my kids navigate the social media waters. The outlets will certainly change by the time my little ones will have access to the World Wide Web, but I’m fairly certain these guidelines will translate.


And because I don’t want to censor my children completely (I’m not a monster)…



Before I tattoo these snazzy reminders onto my kids’ bodies, I want to make sure they’re thorough. What did I miss? We’re talking about my children’s futures, so don’t be shy.

Categories: Culture, Emily, Family

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. This is fabulous. Can I please have several printed copies to hang around the house? And an app to hack my kids’ Snapchat accounts? We have one additional rule at our house, although it doesn’t fit the chart – no forwarding an online video to your friends unless you know (because you watched it start to finish) that it contains no profanity or offensive content. Not that we learned this the hard way or anything.

    • I wish I could create that app for you! Snapchat terrifies me, but I’m sure whatever replaces it when my kids can use technology by themselves will be scary, too. I’m nervous about parenting in this digital age! I have no idea what I’m in for!!!

  2. No repeating the conversation you just had with your mom just because you found it funny. Taken out of context your mom mentioning condoms at the lunch room table with your friends may not be found funny by other parents!
    Not that that has happened…

  3. No instant responses to your friends about ANY conversations/arguments/etc. w/your parents which – just chill and realize you may be overreacting – and heaven forbid – your parents may be right – even though you may realize it years later . . . . . . .

    Great post, Emily! I’m thankful every day that we DID NOT HAVE social media way back then!! You guys have a harder job than we did trying to insulate your kids against things in this world you don’t want them to be part of, or be exposed to!

  4. I have no additions to your covered topics, as my head is buried firmly in the sand. My kids are 4 and 6, and my denial is still running pretty deep.

  5. Scholarly journals. I’m going to figure out how to stage that photo now, and then save it to paste all over their social media accounts when the day comes. You know, in 10 more years, when there’s 12 more social media sites to try and keep track of. Oy.

    • I know! I can’t even think about what it’s going to be like when our kids are old enough to use social media! I shudder when I think about it!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Melissa!

  6. I have three on the verge of being teens. They’ve had instagram which I monitor (but not like a hawk) but then I find, snapchat and twitter mixed in there. It’s a fast, slippery road and keeping up with it is tough. Plus kids change their names all the time (especially on instagram) so I’m like “who the heck is…” until I realize it’s my 12yo.

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