Parents on Social Media

Parents on Social Media

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.

Fact Sources:

http://go.crowdtap.com/l/21872/2016-01-20/497h7z

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/07/16/most-parents-use-social-media-facebook

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9 thoughts on “Parents on Social Media

  1. From the perspective of the kid, having any relatives on social media can be annoying, awkward, or even difficult.During high school, I had several friends that had two Facebook accounts: one with their parents as friends, and one without. It was a way to keep events or people hidden from family for better or worse.
    However, one day we, as the tech savvy generation, will become the ‘old people that can’t use social media’. It may sting a little and we may want to cling to the nostalgia of ‘our’ social media. Regardless, social media will continue to improve, while the newer generations have the best grasp of it. In essence, all of us will eventually become the awkward parents on the new social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a parent the thought of either myself or my children following each other on any social media platform scares me to whatever is the most extreme scary spot in your head is. It is probably one of the main reasons I have avoided social media for so long. I am starting to cave now that I have been exposed to some very ingenious uses of social media and I have tempered my view somewhat now that my kids are older. I don’t think I could have considered being on social media when they were younger anyways. To me it was always a young persons’ domain that I would have been trespassing in. I always felt it was a place for them to express themselves amongst their own kind without the parental scourge. And I sure wouldn’t have wanted to embarrass them by having their peers find stupid parent posts of their parents. I just couldn’t do that to them. In truth, I was probably just playing it safe. They would have used the posts against me and I would have never lived it down. I know it…

    Thanks for the post, Cam

    Like

  3. Okay, my first and only question is does she comment on other Instagrams by pretending she is Lucy. I work with a girl who has an Instagram for her Westie, and every comment she makes she pretends it is coming from her dog Baxter. I can never decide if it is funny or weird. However, I am guilty of spending a lot of time laughing at pet Instagrams.

    Just to go off what Cam said. I agree. I feel like when I was younger I would have been mortified if my parents commented on all of my social media and constantly kept up to date with what I was doing that way. Often I show my parent’s funny posts and interesting pictures and I think they are happy with that. I probably wouldn’t care if they followed me on social media now. But I think that is because the ways we use social media have changed.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The story made me laugh out loud. That’s amazing hahaha.

    I have both of my parents on nearly all my social media accounts, and both have told me that they could care less on checking out my profiles. They’ve said if they want to know what I’m up to, they will ask me. And I’m sure many parents feel the same way. My dad wants to check sports articles, and my mom wants to see dog videos. There have been a few times over the years that my mom will comment a winky face on a photo of a guy I like and me or something, but that’s pretty minor in the long run.

    Awesome post!
    – Victoria

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  5. Instagram pet accounts are my guiltiest pleasure haha. There’s something so hilarious and ridiculous about them, but I can never get enough!

    My mom got Facebook a couple of years ago to “monitor” me as I ventured across the world for 6 months. Once she figured out that I wouldn’t be very active due to living in a van and next to no wifi ever, she laid off. I actually don’t think she’s been on since because she realized that if something exciting happens in my life she’d rather hear it from me versus a post online.

    Loved your post!

    Like

  6. Oh, how I can relate to this. My parents (especially my mom) started commenting on every post I placed on my Facebook wall when I went off to college. ‘When are you coming home’,’Are you sleeping enough?’,’Are you eating enough vegetables?’. It was sweet in the beginning but it quickly got out of hand and let to arduous torture from my friends responding to her comments in all kinds of manners. A stern talk and a further explanation of the medium was needed before she admitted that she just wanted me to call a little bit more often.

    Great post!
    -Stijn

    Like

  7. This post is too funny!

    I myself am guilty of an account specifically for my dog but hey you do actually get to meet a lot of people with the same interest as you. I also find like Sam said some people can take this a little too far and actually pretend to be their dog. I mean is it funny or weird? Either way dog/cat/animal accounts on Instagram are like my guilty pleasure as well!

    Like

  8. Although neither of my parents use social media, I can totally relate to the awkwardness of extended family members following me on Facebook and Instagram. Sometimes they tag pictures of me from holidays and other family events that I’d really prefer my friends not see (I’m the most unphotogenic person in the world!). I usually feel bad when I untag myself, but, hey, it’s my social media, and I get to control how my profile looks, right?
    Even worse, my former boss added me on Facebook on the exact day I was hired; I’d never spoken to her before and felt really uncomfortable that she added me. Since I didn’t want to start the job on a bad note, I was forced to accept the request, and I remember thinking that she was invading my privacy. :/

    Like

  9. Great Post!

    Personally, I don’t mind my parent’s following me on social media because they don’t interact with me on it. However, I can relate to the awkwardness of being friends with extended family members on Facebook. I don’t mind being friends with family, but I hate the fact that they tag me in random quotes or pictures i’m not even in!

    Like

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