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How people should use social media

August 7, 2018
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The director James Gunn was fired from the 3rd Guardians of the Galaxy franchise because of posts he made 9 years ago. The actor Sarah Silverman had to put out a release because of posts she made on Twitter 9 years ago.

The alt right on the internet, the trolls of Reddit and 4chan target people for their older content, feigning outrage when there is none.

I tell you this because of the social platforms that are indexed by Google. They are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr.

The things our kids post today will still be there 9 years from now (assuming these platforms are still there.)

Yes, Instagram has a private feature. However, there is no guarantee that older posts, ie, posts made when our daughters are just trying to understand their place in the world, will continue to be protected. The mission statement of Instagram is about “capturing and sharing the world’s moments.”

The mission statement or the Terms and Conditions does not say older posts will always be private.

My advice.

Don’t tell kids to not use social media platforms. They are under pressure to get on Instagram, and they will be under pressure to get on some other platforms. Younger men, and some younger women, will experiment with Reddit. I’ve deleted two Reddit accounts.

Kids will use social media. Here’s what I tell my kids.

Sit down with your kids and talk about their brand. Have them think about three words that they want people to use to describe them.

My three words are marketing, parent, fun. 

My daughter has three words. My son is still thinking about the second two, his first is soccer.

Now, when your kids have three words, tell them to only post when their post reflects at least one of the words. My daughter has an Instagram account, and she is aware that it is forever, so she is being really picky about her first post.

The next thing to talk about is commenting. When we comment without looking someone in the face, it is easier to be mean. Talk to your kids about commenting.

My rule has always been this: would I be able to read my comment to my mom?

I asked my kids to think about their comments as if their mom was in the room.

As for the rules above? I’ve failed at them (I’ve deleted Reddit twice.)

Social media sites that are indexed by google are not a place to experiment with your voice. Reddit is a good place to explore a voice, but be careful. Nothing is anonymous.

Nothing.

Let me know what you think.

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