It’s a struggle sometimes as a mom active on social media and especially as a YouTube content creator and lifestyle blogger, how much of my little ones life should I share with the world. I vlog our homeschool days, our vacations and sometimes he even helps out with the videos. Though, as a mother of three college-age children, this is new territory for me. In the late nineties, I couldn’t share their lives in the way I can now.
Social Media has completely changed the parenting game.
After questioning myself and my motives, I of course started thinking about my 6 year olds’ future and how his young life on social media is being played out. Is it an invasion of his privacy, will he hate me when he’s older?
What if he decides to run for office in 34 years? Will his opponents pull up that Facebook post from October 2011 where in my exhausted mommy-stupor I made a plea to friends and family for help dealing with the poopie diaper blowout situation. (side note: Pampers for the win!)
Will this become fodder for his campaign? “Presidential-Candidate Poopie Pants”
Then I began to think about the advice that I give my college age teens regularly!
“Put yourself out there”
“Start a blog. Start a YouTube channel.”
“Make your voice heard.”
I’m constantly sending them clips of Gary Vaynerchuks YouTube videos, telling them “This guy KNOWS what he is talking about”
“The level of disruption that’s coming is extraordinary.” Gary Vaynerchuk
Here’s the thing. If one of my kids decide that college isn’t for them, I’m totally fine with that. What I’m not fine with is just existing and trudging along day, to day. Everyone has a voice and everyone has within them the capability to change the world for the better. As Vaynerchuk says, “don’t take the safe route”
Social Media is the way of the future, it’s changing absolutely EVERYTHING and that is why I’m not afraid to put myself out there and yes, to even put my child out there. As long as you’re doing it within the constraints of safety and privacy and being smart about it, it is not that scary place mainstream media would have you believe it to be.
I’ve learned and grown so much in the social media world and it has truly changed my life and the course of my future. I’ve made connections that I could only have dreamed about in the past.
I only wish I had known of Gary Vaynerchuk when I was 19 years old. Had our paths crossed at Mark’s Pizza & Subs in Wellesley Hills in 1995, I would have figured all of this out much sooner. He knows his stuff and I implore ANYONE with a child older than 15 to have them truly delve into his books, blog and videos. Heck, YOU as a parent need to hear what he has to say too!
What we have right now on social media though, are people using it properly and people going about it all wrong. I’m looking at you Donald Trump Tweeting at Rosie O’Donnell and Sean Spicer spreading his Dippin’ Dots hate. Aren’t there more pressing issues at hand?
Zig Ziglar said it best. “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate”
Bashing companies and people online, not only is it not Presidential, it’s just not NICE.
So, in a world of Trumps, be a Vaynerchuk. (and yes I see the irony, I’m making a point)
Stop ‘smdh’ at that kid on Snapchat or that vlogger on YouTube. They may be 16 and seemingly clueless to you right now, but realize, THESE are the people that are going to shape our future and many of them have figured out how to harness the power of social media to do amazing things in the world. It’s not all shopping hauls and makeup tutorials, ya’ll.
People like Vine star Jerome Jarr (26) who reached out to his Twitter audience to bring awareness to the famine in Somalia. It was a whole big thing with companies like Turkish Airlines, CNN and people like Casey Neistat from YouTube and Ben Stiller getting involved.
This is where real change happens, people. Right under our noses, literally. On our phones on social media.
So, yes. I’ll keep encouraging my teens to find their passion and share it with the world on social media, I’ll keep vlogging our daily lives and featuring my 6 year old in our vlogs and I won’t give it a second thought.
I won’t worry about the naysayers because I’m setting my child up for a successful future – one where positive social media influence will make more of a difference; create more positive change than Capitol Hill could ever possibly imagine.
Buckle up, friends.