Getting Paid for (Un)Social Media

by Adam on February 15, 2013

As we move into an ever-more digitally connected age, our social media footprint is perhaps the most important representative we have of our brand and identity in the online world. But, it’s also a double-edged sword for many who worry about managing their time online productively and also creating a social media presence that represents them well.

For parents of children that are increasingly using online outlets as a sole means for connection with friends, there is another factor that comes into play. How can we parent our children when more and more of their activity takes place behind a screen, without much in the way of parental controls? One parent has found a way, though whether this is a panacea that will help parents everywhere remains unclear:

http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/11/just-say-no-to-facebook-a-dad-pays-his-daughter-to-stop-the-social-media-madness

I’ve heard of things like this before, parents paying their children to correct unwanted behavior. But something as fundamental as social media usage? Aside from questions about whether this girl can actually hold out for as long as she thinks she can, there are issues about what happens when parents cut off their children from the primary means of communication with their social community. I certainly am of the mind that less is more when it comes to social media and that especially at a young age children should have a balanced approach to online time. But cutting them off completely doesn’t seem to be the answer, at least insofar as it still means that their friends are online and the core behavior isn’t really modified, just pushed off for a later date.

At the end of the day, I think it comes down to how parents want to message social media. Facebook and Twitter aren’t inherently good or bad, it’s how we use them and who we “hang out” with online that makes these sites useful or not. And for kids especially, rather than trying to keep them off completely, we should be trying to build good habits that allow them to make informed and smart decisions about their online presence.

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