How Much Social Media Do Kids Need? The answer is NONE, but that isn’t stopping my kids (early teens) from bugging me about getting Snapchat. I guess Instagram isn’t enough. Kids are busier than ever with school, sports, etc. and they still want to connect on multiple social media platforms. I think my kids are on their phones way too much. It’s a frustration that has me asking, “How much social media do kids need?”. I can’t get them off of their phones, now they want another excuse to stay on them longer?
Currently, both of my kids (early teens) have Instagram and they’re giving me the vibe that this isn’t enough. Of course, they laughed when I told them they could get Facebook accounts. So now, in addition to Instagram, they have been bugging me on a daily basis for Snapchat. They have gone so far as to incorporate their “persuasive” writing skills they learned in language arts class to write essays as to why we should let them have Snapchat accounts… ‘all of their friends have it, it’s a great way to be “social,” it has different features than Instagram, they are mature and will use it responsibly,’ etc.
I’ve always been a bit of an ogre about their phone usage. I have hardcore rules about when, where, and for how long they can use them. Some have applauded my efforts, some think I’m being a bit of a dictator who doesn’t understand modern times.
Although their essays were well-written, I struggle with the decision. Can’t they communicate with friends using just Instagram? Why all the peer pressure to get Snapchat? Can they function just as well with just one and not both? Here’s a thought… why not JUST CALL the person you want to talk to? I’m starting to sound like a dinosaur.
Why can’t today’s generation be more like we were…pick up a phone and make a phone call, meet up in person to chat, hang out at a friend’s house and watch movies without even thinking about picking up a cell phone? They may squeeze these in occasionally, but their first instinct is to reach for the phones, even when they’re with their friends. This is their social life now.
I have so many memories growing up of talking on the phone with friends and having so much to say and share about our day. We’d look forward to it. Now, kids are feeding each other with every minute detail of their day all day long without even having a verbal conversation. They’re loading up on social media options so they can get their quick, concise messages out in as many ways possible. Why can’t they find a better balance of the fun, immediate gratification of using social media combined with the meaningful, sharing experience of having a long conversation with a good friend?
So, I ask again, how much social media do kids need?