Daughter Social Media addiction
This is my first post; I really need advice. My eldest daughter has an Instagram account and uploads pictures of herself displaying her fashion outfits, I also have an 8-year-old daughter that occasionally watches her sister take photos (which I dislike immensely), I have noticed miss 8 starting to pose a lot more for photos (as her sister) and take selfies - she was never like this, or is it the age???. She has never seen her Instagram account, but I know one day she will see it. I'm just concerned if this is creating future issues for miss 8 regarding social media (addiction)??? I have spoken to my eldest daughter about it but dismissed what I had said. Miss 8 started to explore her interests, but since watching her sister, she is starting to mimic her. Please help
Hi Sarah, welcome
I'm 61yo. I commenced facebook around 2009. By 2015 I had not adapted well to that world at all. I had 180 "friends". I went off Facebook and suspended my account for 5 months.
I soon realized that most of my "friends" no longer contacted me and I was left out of my friends loop. This was a sad feeling. I realized that Facebook is the new almost essential way people keep connected. However I trimmed my friends down to 60, all the hangers were defriended. It is far better now, less conflict and I accepted that to have Facebook I needed to be in control of it. Since then I'm regularly on it but less than the past. So I believe users burn themselves out with it eventually. Most things in life go in cycles.
You don't say how old your eldest daughter is. This is pretty important. But also you don't indicate that any of the photos are inappropriate. If they are not like, rude in any way I cant see harm here but other might disagree. As long as boundaries are implemented and enforced I cant see an issue. It could also be a fad.
Do you use any social media yourself? If not then in my experience those that don't have a perception of it as an addiction. It's hard to separate it as an addiction of something that is now commonplace, like a hobby. It's fun for some to keep contact with friends. I, at my age have my smartphone on me typing away in front of the TV for hours nightly and during the day if I am bored or advertisements are on TV. It's a time filler. Is it unhealthy? Well only if other parts of ones life suffers like chores or giving others attention and affection. That's where limits have to be put in place as teens don't have that ability to limit it themselves.
So in summary, I'd relax a bit about it but monitor it. Get them to approve their photos before they are uploaded in Instagram and limit their use of social media to an acceptable level. You are the parent, you must have some control.
Hello SarahJC and welcome to the forums,
Ah the frustrations of social media. I really hope it is less of an obsession by the time my littlies grow up. I feel you. It is alien to me but so 'normal' to many many people.
In my view it is inescapable. If your 8 year old doesn't see her sister she will see other peers doing the same. I think Tony had the right idea about setting boundaries. They are never too young to learn about what is appropriate to put online and what is not.
I think what concerns me most about the selfie epidemic is that it is all about how you look. Getting others to approve of your appearance, approve of what you are doing. Basically validating you. I find it disturbing.
As a mum too (and a friend to parents of teens) I'm learning a few things that help...
- Get them to photograph away.... Just not of themselves posing. There are so many amateur photography groups which kids love. My Mum is a school teacher. She got the kids to do close ups of things in nature. The results were incredible. Basically give Miss 8 something amazing to share that doesn't involve posing her body for approval.
- Be involved. If you're not on social media as a Mum... You need to be. I learnt from my friend this is where a lot of bulling happens and they won't speak up because it means risking access to social media. Join in and keep up to date.
- Speak to your eldest. Explain your concerns. That she is a role model for Miss 8. Ask her to show you some of her poses (pick the one that disturbs you the most ie sexualised) then ask her if she would think it would be ok if Miss 8 posted a picture like that? If she thinks it is a safe thing for a little girl to do? Basically get her thinking and make her responsible too.
- Give them alternative options. My friend does this... Netball. Dance. Homework... She keeps her teen busy interacting with friends and doing things she loves. Less time to be online.
- Is Dad in the picture? I found the young girls and young women I know who are shown by their fathers that they are worth respecting were less likely to need approval from others. This is my experience and could be wrong but I don't think it hurts to have both parents involved.
I'm sure there are more things to try but I won't overwhelm you.
I hope you feel able to keep writing.
Thank you white knight and Quercus for your messages, I appreciate your views.
My eldest daughter will be turning 19 next month, and yes I do have social media and I see the pictures Miss 18 displays - many are selfies, full body shots (clothes she wears) sometimes swimwear (which I do not like), just various full body pictures (some are sexualized) again, I don't like. Some days/nights Miss 18 will spend hours in front of the mirror trying to take the perfect picture (with Miss 8 sometimes watching), we have had many conversations in the past/present and set boundaries. I read all comments on Miss 18's page, and they're mostly all compliments.
We had many conversations about our concerns regarding Miss 9 watching and what message she may be sending.
They both do swimming, karate and socialize with friends on weekends. Yes their dad (my husband) is with us, and also had many conversations with Miss 18 regarding some of her pics and concerns with Miss 8.
Miss 18 appreciates our concerns but generally forgets and continues with posting even with Miss 8 watching. We are constantly reminding Miss 18 of the set boundaries.
I will definitely need more boundaries. Miss 8 is not yet interested in social media but I am aware that in time she will, and she will definitely have rules and boundaries.
Thanks again for your messages.