I read an article recently that said there are 4.2 million “mommy bloggers” (eMarketer.com) in cyberspace who share everything from crafts, and recipes, to their kids’ poops and tantrums (see #assholeparents). A question I’ve struggled with since starting this podcast and blog is how much I should share about my daughter without violating the privacy of her future adult self.
And how much should she be exposed to when it comes to the ever-growing social media outlets? Parents today have a lot more to consider when it comes to choosing what their kids watch, how often, and what the long-term effects of those choices will be.
Award-winning UCLA psychologist Dr. Yalda T. Uhls has some great guidance in her new book “Media Moms & Digital Dads: A fact not fear approach to parenting in the digital age.” Jackpot!
Dr. Uhls book lays out facts, studies, and practical examples of the challenges today’s families are facing with screen time, and pitfalls of social media.
In this episode we talk about her book, but also you’ll hear me ask questions from my perspective as a parent looking for answers on how to navigate the saturated digital world. I get so excited to ask her questions I’m pretty sure you can hear me squirming in my seat.
I love hearing facts and percentages. It makes me feel weirdly smart. Almost like I’m the scientist! By the way, Dr. Uhls is also a senior researcher at the Children’s Digital Media Center in Los Angeles. So she knows what she’s talking about kids.
For example, she says,
“For the first time in history, media is the most common means through which children learn social and cultural norms.”
Meaning, what they see on social sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as well as TV programs and movies will shape who they become as adults. And if you’ve seen some of the stuff I’ve seen, then that can be a scary thought.
In this episode we also talk about how what kids see their parents do online can also have an impact. Are you posting pictures of your child shirtless? Or on the potty? That could send a message that later in life, when they’re teens for example, that it’s okay to post pictures of themselves online in various states of undress. No judgement! Just something to think about before you press publish.
This episode is sure to stir some chatter among parents and people with kids in their lives. Good! I think it’s important to question our motivations when it comes to media and social apps. How else can we learn and grow as parents?
This is a topic I’m still learning about and will probably pop up again from time to time on my site as I gain new perspective. I am by no means perfect when it comes to how much TV Chan watches, or how many adorable pictures of her I post (there are so many!) But if I’m going to participate in the digital world, I at least want to be well-informed in my decision.