iParent: A Crash Course in Social Media, Part 4 (Teen Voice)

Guest post! This article was written by my daughter, Abby Hopkins. It appeared on the Teen Voice page of the February 2013 issue of Parenting Teens magazine. It fits nicely with our series! Click here for Part 1 (quiz), Part 2 (what parents don’t know), Part 3(sexting), and Part 5 (practical helps).

How I Feel About You Being on Facebook and Instagram

Dear Mom,instagram

I just want to take a minute to tell you how I feel about you being on Facebook and Instagram. As you know, you’re constantly watching what I say and do, which is pretty creepy. I always have to be careful what I post, knowing that you are constantly watching everything, and that makes things weird. You pay more attention to what I post than even my best friends. This has some ups and downs.

First, you friended me on Facebook. That’s OK, I guess, since we’re related and you were on there first. But then when my friends and I all moved over to Instagram, you followed me there, too. Not OK. You know why? Because you don’t do it quietly.

AbbyinstagramRemember that time I edited a picture to make it look like I was reaching through amirror? It was awesome, and took me a long time to do. Everyone liked it, too, but then you commented, “You should do one of you vacuuming the house.” Mom. There are some things that should only be shared between the two of us. That was embarrassing. Of course I was going to delete your comment. Seriously, stop. Please.

By the way, the answer is no, I will not give you a shout out on Instagram. Why not? How many other kids do you see giving shout outs to their parents? Zero, and I’m pretty sure not many of my followers would want to follow you, anyway. Please stop asking.

Actually, I guess I’m fine with you being on there, since we’re related and everything. But please, don’t comment and “like” all of my stuff. It’s kind of weird when your mom is the first one to like your status update. I’m just saying.

And I’d really appreciate it if you wouldn’t write any statuses about me on Facebook. Sure, it could be funny, but it could also make me sound dumb. I’d rather not risk it. If you do feel the need to include my name in one of your posts, don’t ever, and I mean ever, tag me in it. I definitely don’t want that stuff on my timeline.

Since we’re being honest and everything, I should admit that there are also reasons I appreciate you watching me online. I think that there are a lot of kids that I’ve seen who could really use a parent watching what they post. So it’s a little bit of a relief knowing that if I go off track at all, you’ll be there to get me back. It makes me feel protected in a way. Sure, you can be embarrassing at times, but you do help me in a lot of ways. So, thanks, Mom. Maybe we can keep learning together.



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