This first “Rule” of the #SweetSixteen in “@Sophie Takes a #Selfie” ~ Rules and Etiquette for Taking Good Care Before You Share, is also one of my favorites.
Thanks for stopping by,
xo J. J.
Thanks for stopping by,
xo J. J.
While sites like Twitter do not ask your age when setting up an account – they’ve likely realized the uselessness and unenforceability of age requirements – I think it is foolish to let a nine year old play unsupervised on this (or any) digital playground. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just as much a sucker for marketing and nerdy-cute precocious kids showing us grown ups what’s up as the next person (wait, whaaat?). What I dislike about this commercial is that it depicts nine year olds (3rd to 4th graders dependent on birthday) just chillin’ in a cafe with their new Fire Phones over coffee… like this totally happens. I find it insidious as it pertains to our kids becoming socially active at even younger ages and, very cleverly, would have us believe that this is perfectly okay.
A little boy and girl sit in a coffee shop talking about what they have in store for the day. The little boy asks “So what you got on deck?” The little girl answers “Skyfall, Lean In, then some Pinterest. You?” The boy replies “Twitter, Minecraft, then some Hunger Games. Boom.” A woman from across the table has been watching them talk about their day “You guys are all set huh?” The boy replies “Oh, yea, new Amazon Fire Phone.” The little girl adds “It comes with Amazon Prime. Tons of cool stuff for no extra charge.” The woman asks “Really? It comes with Amazon Prime?” The girl answers “Yea, there’s so much to watch.” The boy adds “I’ve been on this Earth 9 years I’ve never seen anything like it.”
By now you may be thinking that I’m much too uptight and possess zero sense of humor. Believe me, I have a great sense of humor, but never appreciate my intelligence being insulted. I wonder how many kids have seen this and said, “See Mom, they’re nine and they’ve got phones! Why can’t I have one?”
The best news is that we are all free to decide what is right for our kids and when.
When we hand our kids any kind of smart device, it is our responsibility not to get left out of this equation.
Now…if I could just get *AT&T to sell my book in their stores! *we love our phone plan
Thanks for stopping by,
J. J. xo
Thanks to technology and parents who seem to be unable or unwilling to simmer down and parent private-like– on the quiet tip, we’re seeing it all. Social media provides us with a comfortably detached, ring-side view of bad behavior highlighted by bad behavior. We see everything from kids standing on busy street corners wearing giant sandwich boards declaring their wrong doings, video of Dad shooting up a laptop as a dramatic last resort, Mom selling bratty daughter’s Katy Perry concert tix and, most recently, the disturbing video of the severe beating of a twelve year old girl by her mother.
To be clear – I am not saying that kids don’t deserve to be punished. We don’t know the full stories behind these incidents because we weren’t there. All we know is what is being shared.
Perception is reality.
In my book, one of the most important of the #SweetSixteen aka #Rules is #BeKind. It reads in part:
“Knowing what to do if you see hateful or humiliating comments can be complicated… Today it is virtually impossible to escape cruel or humiliating messages that never go away. Once your words have been seen, they cannot be unseen. Go to your parent or other trusted adult…”
What are kids supposed to do when the people humiliating them are their parents? The very people who are supposed to be providing any level of guidance are now acting as immature as their children. It appears the parents in these situations are in search of some sort of twisted, attention getting notoriety, cool points, etc.
It’s no surprise kids can’t handle the complications of social media when we see the examples many parents are setting. Are you connected with your kids on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. with the intention of keeping an eye on them? Don’t forget, they’re watching you too.
Have a question or sticky social situation? Ask J. J.
Thanks for stopping by,
Thanks for stopping by,
Oh, and by the way,
I realize that by the time our kids are teenagers keeping track of their digital activity can become daunting. Insidiously, and by default, technology and social media has made parenting exponentially more complicated and difficult. Technology takes parents out of the equation.
Too many kids don’t THINK about the big picture when it comes to the potentially negative and sometimes life changing affects one tweet, photo, post, could have on them.
There are many types of Parental Control Software out there to choose from.
It is our RESPONSIBILITY as parents to know what our kids under the age of 18 are doing online.
Thanks for stopping by, and remember to #KeepItClassy!
xo Jen “J. J.”
So last night I noticed via Carson Daly (who I follow for all things behind the scenes Voice related) that it was Blake Shelton’s birthday. When I tried to post my comment, I received this curious message from the vigilant people at Instagram…
Wait, what? Moi? Well, yes Instagram, I do think you’ve “made a mistake” and I am happy to tap “tell us”. Here’s what I told them:
Instagram’s site’s basic terms of service indicate that users “may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content.”
If we are to believe the above statement, why does a search of the hashtag #cutting return over 2 Million post results and #secretaccount returns over 24,000 (up 1,000 from yesterday) – both depicting extremely graphic and disturbing images from profiles like this one? Surely Instagram, now owned by Facebook, has a group of employees monitoring these images? My silly birthday message is blocked, but these types of profiles and their content are okay?
I chose this image to highlight the chosen profile name and the concerning hashtags associated with this post. I will not share any graphic images here as I understand there is a fine line between perpetuating and raising awareness. It is never my intention to offend or sensationalize.
I have researched several accounts and many of them belong to young people under the age of 18. These “secret accounts” seem to be a “secret” from only one group of people- parents. The profiles themselves are public.
Something is broken Instagram – please fix it – you might save a life! And yes, I’ve seen your pop-up warning for graphic images after searching the hashtag #cutting… I’ll refer back to the above quoted terms of service and ask what is wrong with this picture (pun intended)?
I can hear many of you. “Why do you care?” “It’s not your kid, so leave it alone.” “I just don’t want to know about it.” “Why are you wasting your time with this?” “No one wants to hear about this!”
The biggest problem parents face in today’s digital world is that all of this amazing technology takes us out of the equation.
In the same way that “Private” is not the default setting on most social media applications, neither is “Parental Guidance”.
I care because I see these things and think, this is someone’s child.
As always, thanks for stopping by,
Many of these “secret accounts” do in fact belong to young people. Many of them are (ironcially?) PUBLIC (i.e., not private).
Many of them include the following hashtags:
The list goes on…I know, I know – we don’t want to or are afraid to talk about this. Are we all wandering around just hoping it’s not our kid? What if we all started paying closer attention and potentially saved a life?
An example of a bio on a secret-public-account:
– Selfharm, depression, anxiety, anorexic”
Bottom line. If you want to know what your kids are doing online you have to talk with them…and cyberstalk them. Yes, I can hear people saying “But what about their privacy?” “Don’t they deserve their precious privacy?”
The answer is yes, kids do deserve privacy. First, they must earn our trust- and even then, we must continue to have an open dialogue. Every child is different. We all think we know our kids, right? Well, let’s get to know them even better.
First and foremost kids need to understand that there is NO REAL PRIVACY online or when communicating on a phone.
Conversations need to start earlier. Parents need to seriously consider all of the safety measures available once they have decided to allow their child to become socially active.
Here is an informative slideshow via PC Magazine on Bitdefender Total Security 2013.
There are many parental control software options available today. Do some research and find out which one is best for your family.
My intention here is to open eyes, raise awareness and inspire more thoughtful communication.
Thanks for stopping by.
This is proof that no matter where you live in this great big world, no matter your perceptions, if there are kids with access to social media, there are parents who are concerned about keeping their kids safe online.
“Sophie” is officially on the international map!
Thanks for stopping by ~
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