When you’re a kid, you’re a bit self conscious.
You want to fit in, so everything your parents do or say is MORTIFYING.
And if you’re a kid growing up today, then the explosion of social media has doused fuel on that already raging fire.
Because parents now have another channel through which to communicate/interact/embarrass their kids.
It’s a far more dangerous way of sharing, one that we don’t fully understand yet.
I’m nineteen now and every kid my age or younger is part of “the guinea pig generation.” Our parents have been presented with a platform to share quotes and stories and photos their children.
Listen to Luca and his mum Mia Freedman discuss sharenting with Jessie Stephens and Holly Wainwright on Mamamia Out Loud.
So, speaking from the perspective of my fourteen-year-old self, here are the six clear-cut social media rules that kids want their parents to follow.
1. Don’t tag me in anything. Ever.
“Mum has tagged you in a photo/status” is the Facebook notification no kid wants to receive.
Sure, a Facebook status is relatively harmless. But the issue with tagging is that all my friends can see whatever I’m tagged in. So if you tag me in an adorable family photo – I know this concept may be a struggle – everyone I’m friends with can see it. Even if they’re not friends with you. And that’s not cool because I’m very much ashamed of how daggy you are.
It’s a toughy. I know. You’re proud of me and tagging is cool and YOU WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW YOU CAN DO A SOCIAL MEDIA.
But. Give me some space. I’m my own entity on social media: a real life mature person. Not someone’s cute kid.
2. You cannot - under any circumstances - be friends with my friends.
Here's what you need to understand: I'm responsible for you.
If you misbehave on SM (that's social media, for you non-cool cats), the responsibility falls on me.
To my friend's you aren't you. You're Luca's mum. Luca's mum. People my age associate anything you do with me and that's terrifying because I have no control over what you do.
If you follow my friends on Instagram... if you add them on Facebook... we're going to have some issues. Serious ones.
When I was fourteen, one of my closest friends messaged me one day: