Why do I feel like I am in junior high all over again?
Since putting myself out there on twitter, facebook and my new blog, I am starting to feel like a teenage girl in a new school, worrying about everything I post and upload. Will they read it? Will they like it? Will anyone be offended or feel left out? It took me an hour to come up with a short bio for twitter and I have already changed it 3 times. Even with facebook, why do I care if no one likes my post? Why do I care if no one comments? Why do I care if certain people are making 10 new connections a day and I am lucky to make one. I wish I could say I don’t care, but I do.
Now consider this, I am a grown woman who has two loving children, a supportive husband, and many near and dear friends. I pride myself on being so happy in my own skin. I tell people how life gets better after 40 because you feel so much wiser and self assured. If social media has ME feeling so insecure, what about all of the adolescent facebookers out there???
Both my boys have facebook accounts. We’ve talked about the dangers of friending strangers. And since I am their friend, I can see who their friends are. So far so good. We’ve also talked about the recent tragedies stemming from cyber bullying, so they understand that faceboook isn’t all happy endings. But one thing we haven’t discussed yet, is how facebook makes them feel about themselves. Right now, I get the feeling, it’s bringing positive reinforcement. We just posted my son’s first hockey goal of the season. But I can’t imagine that is always going to be the case. Social networking sites create an enviroment where, as easily as you can feel accepted and part of a group, you can also feel excluded or left out.
For instance, the friend requests that don’t get accepted,the photo calendar that excludes you, or the post you shared that no one liked. I just posted a video of my son’s 11th birthday party. I certainly didn’t intend to hurt anyone’s feelings, but afterward it did occur to me that boys may see that video who were not invited to that party. Would they feel hurt? There is not a lot of room for sensitivity when so much is shared. I feel like one of the qualifications for getting a facebook account needs to be “Thick Skinned”. And how do you teach your kids that? Check out this insightful column from a Chicago teenager.
I would be curious to hear others experiences. Do you ever second guess something you write? Ever worry about how it’s perceived? Have your children ever felt bad because of something that was said or not said on a social networking site? If so, how did you deal with it?