Ok, am I THAT parent?

Me, as a Social Media Mom

My children aren’t old enough to have their own social media accounts, but they will often ask me to take pictures of them, and sometimes they even ask me to post pictures they’ve asked me to take!  I work to try and limit what I am posting, but I have used the space to keep friends and family who are farther away up to date about my life/kids.  I have my settings set to private, but I have put out birthday announcements, and I use their names (not full names- but still).

I’ve combed through my accounts countless times, searching for pictures that my children might be embarrassed by, and for the most part, I think I’m going to be ok.

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Screenshot via my Facebook account

 

In fairness, I said I was mostly good with what I share.

“If you aren’t controlling your (digital) footprint, others are”  Meredith Stewart via Twitter

When I was reading the article from  The Guardian, it made me consider what I am sharing and how I am sharing things about my children online.

“There are two things to be careful about,” says Victoria Nash, acting director of the Oxford Internet Institute. “One is the amount of information that you give away, which might include things like date of birth, place of birth, the child’s full name, or tagging of any photographs with a geographical location – anything that could be used by somebody who wanted to steal your child’s identity.

“The second issue is more around consent. What type of information would children want to see about themselves online at a later date?”

Having read this, I am busy considering:  Have I shared too much?  Should I have been the diligent parent who only refers to my daughter as ‘D’?  When I am putting up pics saying “Oh my gosh __________ is ____!”  Who can see that its their birthday?  Again I am torn – am I sharing too much?  Isn’t ‘connecting’ the purpose of social media?

Overall, I do think I am comfortable with what I choose to share about my children online, I think there’s a balance of real life and gushy-mom stuff (you know, look at how cute this kid is, I can’t believe they can do _________ now…).

The part of the article, that really had me questioning myself was the ‘honing’ of the friends list.  I’ve always been pretty ‘selective’ in who my Facebook friends are (read:  I need to know you in some capacity to friend you in that space)  it’s a personal account.  However, that being said, after reading the article on the Guardian, I looked at my friend count for the first time in a while and I have over 300 FB friends (insert wide-eyed emoticon here).  There’s just no way!  How did it get that out of hand??  I’m sharing personal ‘connecting’ things about myself and my family to over 300 people when I post?  I’m an introvert, this makes no sense!  I have never trimmed, or considered ‘trimming’ my friend list on FB until now.  I may just have to see how many of these people I really want in my ‘personal’ social media sphere.  Perhaps it is time I pay attention to what the ‘younger’ generation has been doing with their online accounts, and limit my presence or my audience.

That being said, after reviewing the  PEW research, maybe this is the directions the ‘older generation’ (don’t get mad at me, I think I’m included in this sphere too) is heading towards.  ‘Pruning’ friends seems to be a newer trend with older adults.

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CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay

Me and Social Media, Professionally

The funniest part of this all, is that these thoughts never need to be considered for my ‘professional’ Social Media spaces (Twitter)  because I am extra selective with the photos I post, and I always discuss with the students before I tweet it, and sometimes even when I have the parents permission and students, I refrain from posting pictures of students!
When considering my own child (for a second), everyday we have the conversation, where I ask about how her day was, and often, I had to have a few more probing questions before I can get an fuller account of what her day entailed.  Fast forward to this past couple of weeks, and she has been (before I even ask) explaining in detail assignments that she was working on, and things they did.  The difference?  Her classroom started using SeeSaw, and she has totally bought in!
Seeing it first hand, I think the connection that current students make when they feel like it has an ‘impact’ or an ‘audience’ it is really effective in creating student engagement.
What’s most interesting is the learner agency engaged through this sharing of work in public spaces. Learners understand the potential impact on wider audiences. KQED

Ironically, the questions I find myself pondering are:  Are there other ways I can work to share student’s work/learning online?  Should I be tweeting more videos and pictures illustrating students learning?  Am I being too restrictive with what I am sharing?

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15 thoughts on “Ok, am I THAT parent?

  1. We have talked a lot about seesaw and I know a few classmates use it but I have to admit I haven’t looked into it (hard to believe after two semesters right?). Guess I’ll have to check it out. Would you say it’s for all grades? From what I’ve seen/heard it seems to geared more towards elementary. I’m sure it’ll be clear what age it’s suited for when I check it out. Great post. I too am careful of what I post but I probably share more than I need to on Facebokk about my kids. My account is also private so I feel okay sharing and I like to share because I have a lot of family I keep in touch with using it. I think we can continue to share as long as we are aware of what we are sharing. There has been times I have started to write a post only to hit the backspace button and delete the post after thinking twice about it. It’s never anything bad but I always wonder if they would want to see it 10 years down the road. I love your post about ‘mother knows best’. I haven’t seen tangled but I’m a big Disney fan so I’ll have to add that to the list.

    1. I’m going to chime in here, as I LOVE all the capabilities to document and share via Seesaw. My grade 2s independently share via Seesaw (all posts/comments moderated by me) but I also got a grade 7/8 colleague hooked as well and it works very well with his students. I think that he is actually in a neater situation because all of his students have their own devices to use where my kiddos share one iPad! I also know that the school in Pense uses it school wide. Follow this link to see K-12 ideas http://help.seesaw.me/hc/en-us, as well as many really useful tutorial videos. The best thing…it’s free! That’s my plug of the day!

      1. Thanks Erin!! I will be spending some time looking at Seesaw and exploring how I can use this in the classroom. Just one question about it…by the sounds of it students can upload to it at anytime from any device? Is it all shared publicly with our approval? I’m definitely going to have to watch some of the tutorials and see how it can be used. They have some PD in Pyjama’s video tutorials that I will be watching when I get some time. I can assure you it will be done in my pyjama’s just like it says haha.

    2. Thanks for your thoughts Ashley! So far, my only experience with SEESaw is through my daughter’s class (Gr.2), Regina Public is implementing it for Pre K and K next year for sure, but as Erin mentioned, I think it could have applications with older students as well. A way for older students to ‘share’ and connect with a larger audience, and maybe a way to encourage older students to share at home what they are doing in school.

      I appreciate your account of starting a post about your kids, and deleting it! Parenting adds an interesting dimension to Social Media, and sometimes being a parent is tough – and I think the urge to post everything comes from wanting to see if you are alone in the challenges, and to help us celebrate the successes.

      If we consider the ‘Split Image’ article and people maintaining their ‘picture perfect’ profiles, perhaps we should consider being less scared to post the ‘less than perfect’ moments too! (Enter ‘mother knows best’) .

      Definitely watch Tangled – my kids love it every time we watch it!

  2. Very thoughtful points, Amy about consent and consideration when discussing this specific topic about technology..I agree, in the sense that we want to be mindful of the information we are sharing and putting out on the internet for even the simplest security/privacy related issues..Consent is another big part of this discussion, and something that I’m often quick to consider when it effects ME but not necessarily others….This post really made me think! Great work!

  3. Great post, Amy! I think the most important thing to do is to think about what you are posting and to reflect on your choices… which you have done right here! I don’t have kids, so I don’t have that additional factor to consider, but seeing as you have reflected upon your choices and seem to do so consistently, I think you are on the right path for appropriate sharing. As I follow you on Twitter, all of your posts seem appropriate and well-thought out. I want to follow in your footsteps in regards to online sharing! I do have to say, the mother knows best song will now be in my head for the rest of the day, but reading your blog was worth it. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Haha – thanks Elizabeth! I just can’t help but consider when I was growing up, how I only had to consider the way I acted and what I did socially, in person. I didn’t have to worry about what was being posted about me on FB, Twitter, SnapChat etc. This adds a considerable layer of ‘pressure’ (for lack of a better term) to those (including my own children) who are growing up now. I’m the adult, so I should be working to make that easier on them, not more difficult!

  4. I like how you consider this topic from a personal and professional perspective. Both are very different in many ways. I am with you. I believe that sharing about my children on Facebook and such is okay, but after our debate this past week and various other blog posts, I am now in a reflective mode where I am considering my audience a bit differently for this first time. It’s all about becoming aware of what we are sharing! I think you have that figured out, just right! Thanks for your 2 sided post! Enjoyable!

  5. Amy,
    I think I am that parent… oh no! A good reminder to always think before I post, which I think I am doing… I wonder if I shouldn’t be using our daughters name like some of the articles suggested. I do feel like we are sharing appropriately, and I hope all of my close friends and families appreciate the photographs, but am I posting too much. Such a tough question. Thank you for your thoughtful post… lots to consider!

  6. Thanks for always connecting the class content to your kiddos. Being a mom is something I cannot separate from being a teacher, so everything I look at I look at is from the perspectives of both. I do think this has help me become a more empathetic and patient teacher, Im sure you feel the same. I really enjoy reading your blog.

    1. Thanks for the shout out- and the kind words! I definitely feel that parenting deepened the scope of my teaching lens and I am grateful to have that experience as well!

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