I recently set up my school’s PTA Facebook page and Twitter account. Everyone in the PTA Meeting I was at, looked on blankly as I mentioned how useful this would be to parents. There was much scoffing, smart comments and a lot of patting on the back that they were all as useless as the next when it came to social media. They were very happy to have someone do it for them.
After I set up the page I sent the link off to about 5 people to review it. 1 replied to say “great, thank you. It’s perfect”, 3 didn’t reply and 1 replied with “I’m a bit old-fashioned and don’t have a Facebook account, should I be able to see it?”
This person has a daughter who is 6, in fact her daughter is friends with mine. Is it just me that finds this attitude slightly worrying? If she hasn’t got a grasp of our oldest and least tech savvy social media platforms will she ever know what the hell her daughter is up to when she’s doing more sophisticated ones?
I was reminded of this last year when my brother-in-law came to me for advice about his 13-year-old daughter who is on Facebook and was sharing some worrying things. I gave him a bit of a smirk and reminded him that he had always ribbed me about my use of social media platforms. Everyone would comment about how much time I spent on them (I posted a status, replied to others, in the evening) and now, all of a sudden, they are turning to me for advice. I revelled in this.
I feel I would know enough to get to grips with some of the stuff my daughter and son may do online. I’ll never pretend I’ll know everything. When they set up the latest account on the latest new thing, I will do the same. I will do it for their safety, but I’ll also do it for my own interest in the way our culture is moving. I think once you start getting left behind, it’s very hard to catch up. You only have to look at our parent’s generation who struggle with using “windows” to know that is always the case. I started using computers in my 20’s so I feel I had the head start.
I just can’t really get my head around the fact so many parents have no idea about social media. Is this worrying? Do you feel you have a good grasp?