Hollee (really?) Actman Becker has a great, heartfelt and smart piece about Instagram beauty contests (as terrible as they sound, read about them yourself), and the responsibilities parents have to helping their kids use technologies in ways that are smart:
we are failing our children by not giving them the tools they need to properly navigate this scary new world, and by not monitoring their interactions in this world closely enough once we do….
Because the minute we give our kids an iphone or ipod or any other gadget that puts technology quite literally in the palms of their hands, we become responsible for whatever happens next….
We potty train our kids, teach them good table manners, spend 10 minutes deciphering the food label on a candy bar before we let them eat it. And yet, we set our kids up on social media, and then for all intents and purposes, we hang them out to dry.
Checking our kids’ news feeds to see what they are viewing, scrolling through their profiles to see what they’re posting, investigating the people who want to follow them, finding out who they’ve given their password to and monitoring all of their accounts (because most kids have more than one instagram account in case you didn’t know) doesn’t make us helicopter parents.
It makes us smart parents.
As the father of a girl who just turned 14 yesterday, I say: Read the whole thing.