Possibly the worst news I received all month – no, all year – was in a text I received early last week from my Step-mom.
“Lucy [our family dog] is now on snapchat! Please follow her, she’s going viral at 6 this evening!”
Cleary, just based on her terminology, the woman isn’t too tech savvy. My step mom doesn’t use social media. She won’t let me post photos of her on social media, or even say her name, yet somehow she stumbled onto the most intrusive of social media platforms, innocently disguised as my dog. Her new hype on social media quickly led to a Lucy inspired Instagram page, and within an evening, my step-mother went from having zero social media, to posting online like a mad woman.
If you have a parents, you probably have at least one of them following you on a social media platform. In joining Instagram, My stepmother joined the very low 25% of internet using parents who use the photo sharing site.
It turns out that 74% of parents who use the internet, use social media. Yet unlike their children, parents use social media for some uniquely different reasons.
Parents can frequently be accused of mistaking Facebook’s “What’s on Your Mind” text box with the Google Search engine. According to research conducted last summer, 30% of moms and 57% of dads use social media daily as a parenting tool, and more than 90% deemed social media somewhat to extremely helpful in parenting. Not surprisingly, the 81% of moms on Facebook are more liking to post, comment and interact on the site compared to fathers who tend to just scroll through. But don’t worry about your parents use of social media secretly stemming from an interest in your online activity. The 47% percent of parents who are friends with their children on Facebook don’t use their accounts to monitor their children. They want to re-connect and and engage with their online community, just like we do. And while they may not be as tech savvy as we are, toss them a follow and the occasional like. They may not be the best posters, but I promise you they feel the same sense of validation from online attention that we do.