Searching for Significance in Social Media
In This Episode…
How to manage social media, self-esteem, selfies and shaming
How to protect ourselves and prevent our children from pain in the aftermath of sexting and revenge porn
Ways to Listen to this Episode:
Sometimes selfies are not narcissistic, but just a display of random, happy moments in life. There might be an obsession going on if you have to take a thousand version of the selfie just to post one.
Trying to keep up with the trends and appearances of popular reality shows and Instagram photos, constantly aiming for perfection, and comparing themselves to celebrities and each other, contributes to the eroding of young people’s self-esteem. Bullying doesn’t end when they get off the school bus—they continue to deal with it online based on their appearance and their popularity (e.g., the number of likes on their social media posts).
Parenting and discipline should be done in the home—putting your discipline online, especially public shaming, is inappropriate and detrimental to your overall relationship with your child. It stems not first from the need to discipline, but from a need for the parent to show off and get attention (e.g., possible notoriety from a viral video). Things you post online can live there forever. So consider how your child will feel long after the rest of the world has forgotten about the video and the long-term damage it could do. The parent that posts a video disciplining their child is the narcissist. Discipline is to correct an temporary issue, not to have it live forever online.
Every poor choice has a consequence.
What You Can Do
Keep an open line of communication with your child. Regularly and randomly check their phone and their accounts.
Teach your children about the consequences of posting inappropriate photos and other material online. If you instill your values in them, you must trust that they will remember what you have taught—even if they choose not to follow your wishes (and thus experience the negative consequences).
Connect with My Guest
Links and Resources
Facebook Therapy? Why Do People Share Self-Relevant Content Online? by Jonah A. Berger and Eva Buechel
Internet Outrage, Public Shaming and Modern-Day Pharisees by Scott Sauls
Misrepresentation in Online Personas by Daree Allen
The Science Behind Your Social Media Addiction by Charlotte Hilden Andersen
Sexting scandal: 20 students charged at New Jersey high school by Rebecca Ruiz