Parents on social media

*SMH

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It is true that social media is all around even the parents are on it. The dads are all over Twitter, and the moms are all over Facebook. Digging into things, Magnet is going to find out what OHS students think about their parents being on social media and if they even let their parents follow them.

Mom and Dads are beginning to dominate social media

The new generation of students are at the forefront of most things in the technological world. If there is a new app out, the kids are already on it. However, the youth has mixed reactions when parents enter the social media scene. Sophomore Liv Matejcek said, “It makes me cringe a little bit because neither of them (her parents) know how to use it.” With the reactions to parent use, it may affect teen preference in social media as well.

Throughout the years, teens have strayed away from facebook, and many have left twitter. According to a poll taken recently, the most popular app for OHS parents is Facebook, while students are most frequently on Snapchat. Growing up, youth have become used to seeing social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

There are many reasons that there has been a shift of students off of these ‘older’ platforms that have become dominated by adults. For example, there may be a growing discomfort with parents hovering over kids online, and following their children. Freshman Candace Goodsell said, “Not only is my mom one of the most cringey people on the internet, but I know she is always watching. I may not be doing anything wrong, but It still gives me great discomfort to know that she always sees what I am doing online.”

Even though students may think that the purpose of the parents on social media is to monitor them, most parents will use it for themselves. Hunter Zempel doesn’t mind her parents on social media, she said, “I don’t really care that they use it because they don’t micro manage me. It’s more so they can keep up with their friends.”

According to another poll recently taken, a quarter of parents do not follow their children. Social media outlets allow users to block other users from following them. This allows kids to block their parents if they so feel. On Snapchat there is something called a “story” this allows the user to put up a video or picture to all of their friends for 24 hours. Students can also block their parents from seeing these stories if they so choose.

Social media helps me keep up with my favorite sports teams and some friends I don’t see very often. Also, it helps me see what the kids are up to.”

— John Nelson

Although parents are on social media, they still can use it for their own use. According to pewinternet.org, “currently 68% of adults are using facebook, 28% are on instagram and 21% are on twitter.” John Nelson, father of three students who have attended OHS, claims to be on social media only once or twice a day. Nelson said, “Social media helps me keep up with my favorite sports teams and some friends I don’t see very often. Also, it helps me see what the kids are up to.” Seeing what kids are up do is different than constant overwatch of their social media accounts. Nelson said,“It’s mainly for me, but I do check the kids instagrams.” Even though parents may use it to make sure their kids are behaving, they primarily use it for themselves. Pat Segler, a father of two students that have been enrolled at OHS, is on social media multiple times a day. He uses social media to get updates on what his friends are up to, to keep up with his favorite sports teams on all levels, and uses it as a news outlet. His favorite app on social media is Twitter. The apps that Segler uses are Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Segler said, “I use social media for myself and not for my kids because I trust them.”

Another perspective on social media is that it benefits and takes away from school. Principal Mark Randall said, “It is a great communication tool.” In the past if you had to get news out in the school you would have to send out letters to everyone but social media has significantly reduced this amount of time. But however social media can be a negative because of how distracting it is. Everytime that you go on your phone to check a notification it takes away 30 minutes of potential work time to gain your focus back. His main form of social media is Twitter where he keeps up with other schools and with sports teams.

Overall, teens may overemphasize issues with their parents online, and may have more freedom than they realize. Parents have the opportunity to monitor their kids if they choose, but teens can decide if their parents follow them or not. Most adults have social media for themselves and not to stalk their children. With that said, social media has given a new battleground to the teen versus parents relationship. Ultimately, parents have control over their children until they leave the house. As of now, it looks like this social media “war” may never end.

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